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Why You Need the Church & the Church Needs You: Representing Christ

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2021 3:00 am

Why You Need the Church & the Church Needs You: Representing Christ

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 19, 2021 3:00 am

We’ve all had a bad customer service experience. Maybe a waiter or waitress messed up a meal. Or a clerk at the register wouldn’t honor the sale price on bananas or a loaf of bread. It not only affects how we feel about that person but about that company, doesn’t it? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we’re all representatives of Christ. How we interact with people can draw people to the Lord or push them away. Good insight is coming.

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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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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God check out virtue our website for Christian women go to you would want to be here were you pastor Greg Laurie. Every believer should view mirror flex the person of Jesus Christ. This, there is much as anyone who studied as a witness. Watching this is real.

This is are these people real crazy customer service. Maybe a waiter or waitress you work with the judge would not of the sale price not only affects how we feel about that person about the company today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie points out how we are all representative of Christ, how we interact with people draw people to way inside our Bible now and were in a series that were calling whatever he growing Christian needs to know the title of my message is why you need the church and the church needs you.

Let me say one thing before we get to ask to because I too was a description of the church of the first century. This is the church that change the world.

It was said of them, not as a compliment. I might add that they turn the world upside down. So we need to go back to this church for our example to see how to do church right because you know some churches that they don't have growth problems. Some churches have parking problems and other churches don't.

Some churches have kids running around making a lot of noise and other churches tend to be very quiet. Some churches have more expenses than money, and other churches don't need to spend much money. Some churches are growing so fast you don't always know everyone's name, but in other churches.

Everyone has known everyone's name for years. Some churches are planning for the future.

Some churches are living in the past.

Okay so when you come to our church and you have to wait to get a parking space or you have a hard time getting into this room or whatever thing God, that's a sign of spiritual help. Those are good signs that we should rejoice over so now let's look at the church to turn the world upside down. What they did ask 242 to 47 says of those first century believers. This is after the day of Pentecost in happen in 3000 people believe and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers, and fear came upon every soul in many signs and wonders were done to the apostles all who believed were together and had all things in common and they sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those that were being say. There this church was healthy like you could summit up in this acronym well.

They were well WELLW for they worry worshiping church, even for they were an evangelistic church. L. Number one, they were a learning church in all. Number two, they were eight loving church. They were well worshiping evangelistic learning and loving start with that first principle number one, they worry worshiping church. But in verse 47 praising God and having favor with all the people of the Lord added to the church daily those that were being saved. Something wonderful happens when God's people come together for corporate worship. It's just amazing. The world doesn't have anything like it. I member years ago I went to a Paul McCartney concert and he was in a band called the Beatles, by the way is you've never heard of him and and so he had his big song, let it be you know when everybody knew it. And in people pull out their cell phones and such and they were swaying back and forth and singing.

Let it be in it almost took on a religious tone like it was almost like secular worship, you know, except they were worshiping the beetle instead of God or baby worshiping their pastor. Whatever it is they work, thinking about, but I thought this is as close as the culture gets to worship were singing the song together. We know the lyrics of the song. It's different when God's people gather gel were singing the song and we know the lyrics but the Bible says God inhabits the praises of his people, haven't you sent the Lord's presence during worship. It's a wonderful time. That's why said you should not be late for church because worship is not a warm-up back to its prayers. Set the song no why would I be late for a time of prayer were told in Scripture that we should be worshiping the Lord some 106 is praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his mercy endures forever. From Genesis to Revelation.

Our faith is one of worship and song.

There's no faith on the face of the earth that has music like the Christian faith. You can look at all these other religions and check out the music if you like. They just don't have that much to sing about.

But the great songs come from the Christian faith, and not just songs that we've sung in the past, but new ones are being written all the time because our faith is vibrant and its living and were singing on earth. And when they will be singing in heaven.

Revelation 15 gives us this picture of our future. When John says I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea.

Those who had been victorious over the beast that would be the Antichrist and his image, and over the number of his name, they held harps given to them by God. So we will of harps in heaven maybe will be electrified though I don't know and they sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty just and true are your ways, King of the ages to be singing in heaven.

By the way, will all have good voices in heaven, you know, don't you wish you had a great voice. Funny thing is, sometimes people with the worst voices think they are great voices.

God bless and they sing with passion and you can hear them off key and everything but I rather see someone sing off key loudly than a person who doesn't sing at all and you know when it's all said and done. God doesn't care what your pitch is or if you're on key he looks at your heart and if your hearts engage in that is honoring to the Lord. We should all participate in worship any other times we don't feel like worshiping right you just not in the mood. That's why Hebrews 1315 says let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lives, giving thanks to his name. One thing the praise God in the sky is blue and the birds are singing. Then the lights are green. It's another thing to praise God when all hell is broken loose. When darkness is come down in your life or your facing the tragedy wanted Job to do after he found out that he had lost his possessions, his livelihood, and worst of all his children in a series of calamities we read. When Job heard these things, he worship and said, blessed be the name of the Lord make it. I came into this world naked. I will go out to that just worship like what else can I do.

God help but sometimes it's a sacrifice of praise.

The Bible does not say that we should give thanks to the Lord will we feel good, but we should give thanks to the Lord because he is good and he always deserves our praise or something. Maybe have not thought about worship can be a witness. Your worship can actually be a form of evangelism. Look at verse 47, again praising God having favor with all the people in the Lord added to the church daily those that were being say, there was a connection between their worship and their witness. Here's a good example number one, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for preaching the gospel when we read read at midnight Paul and Silas sing praises to God, they were in a dungeon worst conditions imaginable and they started singing under oath. They were like harmonizing a white male, but there were singing in the Bible says the other prisoners were listening and that word in the original language would be listening with pleasure that's wonderful seat here. They were in this horrible hellhole and they were giving praise to God and all the other prisoners paid attention: earthquake came the walls collapsed and the jailer who would cruelly treated Paul and Silas whipping them in verse was ready to kill himself because in those days about Roman guard lost his prisoners he be put to that is ready to kill himself. Paul said don't kill yourself, were still here in the next words out of the jailer's mouth show the connection between worship and witness. He said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved.

See when you go through a hard time when you go through suffering and your faith remains intact nonbelievers.

Attention to that and it's a powerful witness to a watching world.

Let me tell you something else when a nonbeliever comes into our place here enjoins us there checking things out.

You remember the first time you came to church before you were Christian there checking everything out and they're not looking for good things all the time. By the way they're looking for things that they can complain about so they can write all of this off and they're not just looking at me up. Here are our worship team.

They're looking at you were a pure worshiping of the teams leading us in worship and your checking your text or you're doing something else looking at you and I guess this is not important to them or you're jabbering you're doing sentinels see your witness out there is much as anyone who standing on the platform is a witness, people are watching this is real is this authentic are these people from real or are they crazy. That's what I thought when I first encountered Christians. I thought there were knots that they intrigue me. At the same time that never seen anyone like them and I had to admit that some of them used to be my friends in the old days, and they had changed dramatically and I was drawn to what they were doing and eventually I my life to Christ and so worship can be a witness. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study. It's a worship service. It church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us per Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ. Join us this weekend Harvest at Home.

This dawdle today. Pastor Greg is presenting his message why you need the church and the church need you were considering the church of the first century as described in acts chapter 2, number two, they were an evangelistic church that ENR acronym of well worshiping and evangelistic. There was a constant flow of new believers coming into the church.

You show me a church that does not have new believers coming in and I will show you a stagnating church wife because new believers are the lifeblood of the church. So if we are not evangelizing, we will soon be fossilized. That is why we should always be bringing out our friends and our neighbors and our loved ones and coworkers to church and pray that the come to Christ because I think you know me well enough to know other pastors here that after a message is done.

I'm usually going to give an opportunity for people to come to Christ even if it wasn't what we might call a evangelistic message working to give that opportunity and people respond but they're not going to get here unless you bring them here. Okay, so no L.

Number one, they were learning church so there were worshiping. They were evangelizing and they were learning. They were learning on this is important because some people will say why you need to go to church here, Bible study and I just like to watch church online and I listen to Christian radio and I watch Christian television and I read Christian books and I don't really think I need to be in church will listen, you know, I'm glad you use those tools course we have a Christian radio program, a new beginning. We have a TV program and then we have devotions we put on every day we have a little thing called the harvest at which you can download for your iOS device or iPhone or an android device you can put it on a tablet and it just chock-full of spiritual information and you can watch messages on demand will be covered services. It goes live on the harvest out and a lot of people use it in that's fantastic and I got just received a letter today.

This can pull some of these loose ends together and it gives you a sense of how God can use these things says hi Pastor Greg, I'm writing you because you said you want to hear from us on your radio broadcast new beginning.

I'm a correctional officer for the state of Washington want to thank you for all you do. I give myself the Lord of the young agent was devoted to the Lord for some time. However, my parents got divorced. My dad moved away and started hanging out with the wrong crowd, etc. I'm sure you for this story many times and I had been without God for a long time. I was becoming a very angry and bitter person. The smallest things would set my temper off.

I couldn't figure out what was wrong. But anyway we live so far from work and we have a carpool. Dan had a bunch of guys used to carpool together for the hour drive that we do every day to and from work. There happened to be a few Christians I work with and ride with and we would talk a little bit about Jesus.

What I didn't realize was Jesus was calling me back to A few months back during our hour-long van ride we started listening to our local Christian radio station, and I enjoyed the Christian music and then we listen to the message that were playing during our try and one of those is you and we listened over and over from listening to that message that brought me and several of us back to Christ.

We listen every night. I've even downloaded the harvest app on my phone. We listen to your extended messages.

I'm able to download and listen to for my phone. One of the guys invited me to his church and now several of us even belong to the same church and we go every Sunday everyone around me notices the change in me and I gotta tell you, it feels so amazing to be walking with the Lord Jesus again. Praise God that a great story, so would think over that technology that got to that guy. But the best thing about that letter is there's a guy who's fallen away. He discovers it he gets around believers that are on fire for the Lord. It shows him something was wrong in his life years are stolen commit suicide to Christ. But best of all, he's in the church that that's kind of my point. Those things are fine to help you but you gotta be in the church makes such a difference in and this brings us to point number three. They were a learning church. They were learning and listen every time we have a servicer was going to tell you a working have a Bible study.

I will were sample of the guest artist. Occasionally the demo then open the Bible, because that's our focus.

We offer theology without apology. Really, what else can I do for you.

I mean who cares about my stupid opinions on anything. My jokes are the lamest ever window. I have just said really nothing, nothing that would be more important than any other person that so we open up the word of God because we care about what this has to say and we wanted to become a part of the woof and warp of our life and I don't even know it will open more bar but I want the Bible there mission statement in harvest is knowing him and making him known and that first century church continued in the apostles doctrine. There is a trend in some churches today where they're moving away from Bible exposition of all kinds of things going on might be drama might be skips it might be what some other thing I've even heard of churches. They feel dancing whatever I'm not here to criticize all those things in their place.

I suppose though you would never want to see me dance no rhythm whatsoever but I think the thing is, I want to come to church and hear the word of God, and I think when a church is not doing that they're missing the purpose that God is put them on this earth for.

And you look at that early church and they were into God's word.

Verse 42. Look at it they continued steadfastly in the apostles talk underline those two words continued steadfastly. Those words mean they did it with the real passion was a passion. There was an excitement.

I think we need more anointed preaching today. Don't you think more anointed preaching, but I also think we need more anointed listening more anointed listening, you know, it's very easy to dismiss a bridge. Are you boring tonight got a good nap though.

Okay I mean there are boring preachers.

I'll admit there are some preachers on me listening to them speak is like watching paint dry around. I know, but then there are times we know truly not the fault of the preacher. It's your fault or it's my fault because I'm not really paying attention. First Peter two says like newborn babies, you should crave, and desire spiritual milk Raven you come to cure the word of God put it another way tension with intent from Pastor Greg Laurie's message called why you need the church and the church needs you and there's more practical counsel yet to come.

Based on that acronym well WB also Pastor Greg is a final illustration from today's message before we wrap up for the day you're on a new beginning. Now if you missed any part of today study you can catch up by going online to just look for the message titled why you need the church in the church need you or request a CD of today's study by dialing 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 everyone Pastor Greg care in studio with my friend Darrell strawberry and I have to tell you a story about Darrell. Not only is he an amazing baseball player. Not only is he a gifted communicator, but he's an excellent bodyguard and I speak from experience because we are at a White House event and the night was going on and on and it was getting later and I said to my wife Kathy. We need to go well. As it turns out there were some very agitated people on the streets doing a lot of screaming and yelling and I'm thinking, how do we get out of here and all of a sudden who walks by, but my friend Darrell strawberry I said hey Darrell what are you doing these only get ready to leave.

I said that I go with you and he said he said sure, come on.

And then we met up with some other guys and I like the greatest security force around me and I just stuck really close the demo we navigated our way through it, but Mattel is written a brand-new book called churn your season around subtitled how God transforms your life, and Darrell, there's one thing that really got my attention in your new book you dedicate an entire chapter to forgiveness.

But you don't just address your own need for forgiveness. You recounted time when you're the one who needed to extend forgiveness talk to us about the forgiveness was an incredible moment in my life that I needed to understand what forgiveness is all about, because we usually think it's about you know the other person when someone is done some to us and affected us and Marquesas. What was my father had was alcoholic and he had rejected me in and yet I kept them out of my life. He beat me when I was a kid I said I really was never going to come out to be anything in there. I was going to be a major-league baseball player play for 17 years and regulation and all have have no relationship with him in my life. And then you know II saved and God changes me and I just remember him being in the hospital down to San Diego and I was going to do a man's breakfast Saturday morning the gospel to me Friday night about 1 ounce must father to see him and not only more down to see him but he said I want you to go out to him and repent and asked him to forgive you and I was like well, forgive me and all gospel to meet at night and my wife had to call me and pray for me because I told her what was going on as you said, you need to listen to God.

Need to obey him going through exactly what he said so and I and I did that and I went down to the hospital and I saw my father and I walked in as I you dork and I said a few words conversation us and we know the Lord is change me all they God and he said the Lord is change me and I just need you would you forgive me for keeping him alive and he's he shook his head yeah it's here ruled out as I've just lost it. I just laid in his lap. This cry so hard and I just laid there and just start to feel the presence of God all over me and that he says raise up again.

I raised up Lisa's now the Minnesota prayer and there was out and let him in the Senate press. Would you like to accept the Lord is change my life and would you like to except German. He shook his head as I gathered my medicine, for he repeated up to me and then a golfer man and I just remember what God spoke to me when I was leaving that the hospitalist often.

He was like Sam how it's never about you and then you say want. Once I got a car I need you to remember you. How dare you not forgive him a NASA gave you an egg and then he reminded me that the forgiveness was not for my father, the forgiveness meet.

I carried all my life. Throughout my baseball career when I was hitting garage running around the bases that they get you my father's like I'm nothing in here. Always keep your McCarty calls but I still feel empty and the inside when I still had the uniform on it and take your uniform off, but at that moment in the hospital after I got netting and walked out of the hospital on the God released me and I have never been to say my life is forward from that point. While powerful story about forgiving a man who really didn't deserve to be forgiven. A man who beat Darrell when he was a little boy but a man that had to be forgiven because Scripture tells us to forgive forgiven people should be forgiving people so there's a chapter in this brand-new book by Darrell strawberry that is titled turn your season around subtitled how God transforms your life so Darrell deals with that topic in this book and much more. And that's why what we want to rush you a copy so you can start reading this amazing story of this amazing guy and what God is done and what God is doing in and through him right now so order your copy of turn your season around by Darrell strawberry yeah that's right. It's a powerful book, especially for men were sending it to say thank you for your investment to help keep Pastor Greg's teaching coming your way here on a new beginning.

Your partnership helps us reach lives. It's a simple as that.

People come to know the Lord through this ministry affect last year alone, more than 150,000 decisions were made. So thank you for your investment and be sure to ask for this new book turn your season around. You can write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online to one next time more insight on the reasons we need the church and the church needs us hope will be a long but before we go. Pastor Greg has one more illustration about attention with intention letting what we hear.

So Ken so we can put it to work. Memorize on a flight number of years ago from Miami. I had just spoken there and I was coming back in and so the flight attendants going over the whole you know the routine.

They go through. Should we have a water landing. You know under your seat is a life vest that you can pull and there's this little whistle in the tiny little light to and you can use your seat as a flotation device and all things the way when I survived that stuff anyway so you're watching them in the end of the good of the lumpy attention most people flip through a magazine or there's any last-minute tax so the flight attendant did their thing and I wasn't paying attention. For the most part I just know there's the exhibitors. He and Sen. Tully need to know will then work lined up for a while and were about to 40 minutes outside of LA and the voice of the captain comes on the intercom. Ladies and gentlemen were having some engine that difficulties and this isn't happening. It was happening and we don't know if one of our engines is is going to keep working so were going to go through again. I forget the verbiage he is. But you know if go through the what you need to know case of an emergency landing. This time I Lisette I listen to every word I memorize this will thankfully the engine worked and we landed fine, but my point is you listen differently when your life depends on it. You should listen to the word of God as though your life depends on it because it does, you realize that your life depends on not only your afterlife. You want to make sure you're right with God and you know you're going to heaven because you put your faith in Christ within just life in general like before you how to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. That's how the early church listen. That's how we and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email devotions and

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