Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

Never Say Never | Overcoming Reluctance to Share the Gospel

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 22, 2022 3:00 am

Never Say Never | Overcoming Reluctance to Share the Gospel

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand NEW!

This broadcaster has 1771 show archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

August 22, 2022 3:00 am

If you find a great restaurant, or see a good movie, chances are you’re not shy in mentioning it to someone else. We like to pass along helpful suggestions. But so many of us just don’t feel comfortable in suggesting someone consider the hope of the Gospel. We’ll talk about that reluctance today on A NEW BEGINNING as Pastor Greg Laurie continues his studies in the book of Acts. We’ll learn to follow the example of our First Century forefathers and discover the thrill of spreading the Good News.

Listen on


Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at

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.

Support the show:

See for privacy information.


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

If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at again it's you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to uses charges with the responsibility to hear the good news today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie points out, it's the perfect time to do we have the first generation literally get the gospel to pretty much every one here is challenging. However, you take the gospel to people who then did you people you're not comfortable with people you don't even necessarily want to be with you and chances are you're not shy about mentioning it to someone else, like a mess along helpful suggestions. So many of us just don't feel comfortable suggesting someone over the gospel will talk about today getting pastor Greg Laurie continues his studies in the book of acts. Learn to follow the example of our first century forefathers will grab your Bible at chapter 10 were back in our book about theories that were calling me upside down life and the title of the message is never say never think about this for a moment the first generation that could literally fulfill the great commission in our lifetime. Think about that because of all of the technology that we have today.

We could literally get the gospel to pretty much everyone on the planet. But that's a big project we can just stop and think about our own life and going into our own world. So the book of acts. It's the work of the Holy Spirit that happened for the lives of ordinary people. It was the spirit of God working through the word of God in the hearts of the people of God that it was said of them, that they turned their world upside down will know in the book of acts we have sort of a shifting of the gear if you will. And there's a change in the strategy of the church where they now seem to get a better understanding of the simple fact that they were to take the gospel to every one. Everyone needed to hear and not just the people that they were personally comfortable with.

Also, before is here and act is a story of a man who was searching for God. He was a true seeker of God and of a person is really seeking God. God will make himself known to them.

God promises in Jeremiah 2913 will seek me and find me when you search for me with all of your heart and I will be found by you in the name of this man was Cornelius and he was a stentorian and this is a pivotal moment with his conversion, because now the church is going to leave not just bringing the gospel to their fellow Jews, but to non-Jews, or Gentiles as well to go out there and impact every body reminds us that the early church was not perfect. There were people like us. They fell short of what God called them to do.

They made mistakes they had false doctrine. They had the vision they had issues that still in fact the church today and in some quarters of the church.

There was even prejudice where they were unwilling to go to people different than them.

So God was changing the hard bow of Simon Peter with this moment is for all practical purposes, leaving the church along with James and so Peter is being impacted by a couple of events that take place in his life.

The first one is over and asked chapter 9 of verse 34 where he encounters a man named Aeneas I use in a non-Jewish city called Vlad, which by the way is modern Tel Aviv Andes paralytic and so Peter goes to him. The zinnias Jesus heals you make your bed in a Aeneas got up and walked in. So Judge Peter Sark think about this is not a Jew.

God just extended a miracle to him. And then there's also a story of a non-Jewish woman was named Tabatha she had died and her friends were in mourning, everybody brought the things that she had made for them and Peter was so moved by this and God led him to raise her up from her bed and he said Tabatha get up so you see God's starting to change. Peter is starting to soften Peter Sark and get them ready now are introduced to Cornelius and asked chapter 10 starting at verse one. By the way I'm reading from the new living translation in Caesarea, there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius who was a captain of the Italian regiment. He was a devout man he feared the God of Israel, as did his entire household. He gave generously to charity was a man who regularly prayed to God one afternoon around 3 o'clock. He had a vision and he saw an angel of God coming toward him. Cornelius the angel said. Lelia started terror. What is it, sir.

Which by the way, when an angel appears it's a good idea to call him sir right and though Cornelius is a powerful leader of others. He knows greater power when he sees it. And the angel replied your prayers and gifts of the poor of not gone unnoticed by God. Now, since the men down to Joppa defined amending Simon Peter feasting was Simon, a leather worker who lives near the shore. Ask him to come to visit you.

They're looking back now to Cornelius Jesus stentorian by the way, was not easy to become a stentorian, they commended 300 to 600 troops be one of the historians of the day named Paula PS describe centurions as men or not so much the venture seven daredevils as they were natural leaders known for their steadfastness and dependability in the heat of battle, so Cornelius sees a leader.

He's an intelligent man. He's a levelheaded man. He's a respected man and like most Romans of his day. He would worship Roman God that many gods that they would gobble for Jupiter, Mars, Venus, many of them would even worship Caesar as a deity, so this was the world he lived in, but he knew this was not the answer. Something about the Jewish people and their worship of the one true God fascinated him. They were monotheistic. They worship one God.

He was polytheistic. He worshiped many gods.

It was drawn but he didn't really know how to believe. Quite yet. He was a true seeker. And God was about to make himself known to this man. Now here's what I find interesting in angel appears to him and says go talk to Peter you go to get the answers to all your questions widen the angel just give them the gospel because the job of angels is not to preach the gospel. That's our job. Our job is to preach the gospel, how can they believe in him and Leslie heard about him, how can they hear unless someone tells them asked Paul in Romans 1014.

So here we have Cornelius in the Lord's getting them ready. Meanwhile, back in Joppa we have Simon Peter cuts prepping him is getting these guys ready to meet each other. It's going to be an explosive moment in church history of the strategy of the church. Peter is sitting on the rooftop of the home of a guy named Simon the tanner, that doesn't mean that he laid on got tense all the time and that he had hides of the leather and such and so he was a leather worker if you will, and Peter's hungry and by the winter know about you but I am not a good hungry person I am the person who gets angry. You know sometimes I'll start getting irritable. My wife will throw a sandwich at me that call me down a little bit and when I go to a restaurant you know and by the way, i.e. lunch at 11 o'clock sharp, I am one of those people that eats early. Is there anybody else that needs an early lunch again. Some people lunch. I didn't even know was lunch time. I'm counting down the minutes till lunch time from nine in the morning pretty much upright have breakfasted so you know when you go to a restaurant you sit down and you're looking for a server and one finally shows that they take your drink order Ocala water Ice-T. Whatever you have and then that then they disappear for like a month or quarter they go where they go and then they reappear again and you finally get your order in a little bit of time passes it here comes the big platter with the writers are so excited and they walk past your table at someone else's food.

Then you start thinking way.

Didn't they get seated after us, as anyone ever thought these things.

Is it just me and so you're getting hungrier and hungrier and I my case angrier and angrier and finally your order arrives and it's the wrong order. They got it wrong or or it's cold right so you know Peter's hungry you just sort of laying there sitting there and in God's getting him ready for this big moment asked to now go over to verse nine the next day is Cornelius his messengers were nearing the city. Peter's up on the flat roof to pray.

It's around noon.

He's angry hungry, he was hungry.angry, lunch is being prepared.

He fell into a trance and he saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners in the seat were all sorts of animals, reptiles and birds and then the boys said to him, get up, Peter, kill and eat them. Verse 14 never Lord Peter declared I have never in all of my life eaten anything forbidden, where Jewish laws, the voice spoke again instead of something God says is acceptable. Don't say it isn't it will stop there. Okay, this would be like a very health conscious person having a sheet or a sale or a picnic blanket if you like Lord from heaven with all of the foods that you are not supposed to eat In-N-Out Burger to boldly burritos nachos with extra cheese pizza. By the way just named all of my favorite foods literally right for them all and you know it's a needlelike candy that I'm a bit healthy food should be like me having a seed lowered from heaven filled with weed German scale: and tofu and things of that nature right and so but the idea here is this is not about food. This is about people this sheet with all of these critters that were on it is a metaphor that God is giving to Peter anything leave your comfort zone and go to one new group of people specifically that Jen or Greg Lord will have the second half of this message just a moment. We really enjoy hearing with Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching touch lives. Pastor Greg, I'm a junior in high school, was raised in church and saved at a very young age, but when I started high school, I fell away from the Lord one day I heard you on the radio and your message helps me see that I need to get my life right with God, which I did. Thank you for all you do and allowing God to work through.

It's a blessing to know the listeners young and old are hearing these messages and God is using his word to touch hearts will have Pastor Greg studies impacted your life would you let him know drop an email to were talking about the importance of sharing the gospel today as Pastor Greg presents his message from acts 10 cold never say never know were in the time in the church now where I I see that I don't think division is ever necessary, but I see people dividing over really small things second-tier even third tier things then your group gets narrower and narrower, it's down to pretty much as far no more. And I'm not sure about you other three rights and this is not the time to divide. This is the time to unify and get back to our primary mission that God is given to us when this secular culture sees a divided church. They don't care about what we say and here's what Paul reminds us of in Ephesians 43 make every effort to keep yourselves united in the spirit finding yourselves together with Pete since don't make every effort to get along with people make every effort to not divide from people and it's interesting that this happened in a place called Joppa.

This Joppa ring a bell with any of you Bible students. Of course you remember the story of Jonah and God called Jonah to take God's message to the people of Nineveh who were renowned for their wickedness and cruelty and Jonah flat out refused any got a boat going in the opposite direction from a little place called Joppa. I bid the job, but it's a seaport in Israel, and God's a beautiful little spot actually and so there Joppa. Jonah ran from God. You know the rest of the story.

Great storm came and he was thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. Ultimately, he repented, was given a second chance and went to Nineveh and preach to them in a great spiritual awakening broke out, but it's interesting that's Joppa job was the place where God was directing Jonah and now Peter to go to people they were not necessarily comfortable with. So here is a challenge I have for you, would you take the gospel to people who have hurt you.

Would you take the gospel to people who have offended you, would you take the gospel to people who have mistreated you, or people you're not comfortable with or people you don't even necessarily want to be with when the illustrator for my own life as you know, my mom was married and divorced seven times and she was an alcoholic and one from husband, a husband and there are a lot of boyfriends in between and I went along.

Her name is Charlene. I was on Charlene's wild ride.

You've heard of Mr. toad's wild ride. I was in Charlene's wild ride and so after I came to Christ.

I pretty much had a full-time ministry sharing the gospel with my old dad opponent." Some were successful, like was able to share the gospel with Oscar Lori, the man who adopted me and my mom left and tie and I was able to lead him to the Lord after the end of his life that was fantastical. My mom leaves Oscar, who was like a great dad. Though he was not my biological father treated me as a father should treat a son. He taught me things he I stole something once as a kid and he took me down to the jail and introduce me to prison. We got people in jail. The problems I thought it was kinda cool and that didn't work so well but think letting go on a life of crime. He gave me an allowance. He was a good dad real functioning data. One day my mom leaves them abruptly get out of my classroom and the Cadillac is loaded with much luggage and were on our way to Hawaii to meet my quote knew that would never heard of before. So I landed Honolulu and here's this guy I've never seen before. They take me to his home and they took my room that I had in New Jersey and literally re-created it in Hawaii like my same room, same stuff in my room but I was in my room and the whole thing was bizarre while he went to was an alcoholic and a violent drunk one night they got in a fight and he took on a wooden statue and shut my mother doctoring conscious. She landed on the floor. I came out of my room is a little boy. And so my mom lying in a pool of blood, and he was holding the statue up in a menacing way to remember it was such a weird statement. He said go back to bed. She's fine, it's just catch all I knew what it was and I climbed out the window of her house and went to a neighbor in the police were called, but she left him understandably so.

Now fast-forward.

I'm a Christian I'm a pastor and I'm preaching in Honolulu and someone comes up. He is is a your dad is very sick.

I don't know how long he's going to live.

Maybe you should go talk to him and I said no thank you, what'd I say no thank you because he hurt me because he hurt my mother. I had a hard heart against us men even as a Christian I wanted nothing to do with them. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said go talk to so I went and I sat down with them and I told him all about Jesus and what Jesus had done for me and he was like, I will that's good well I'm preaching across the street here literally across the street from where you live at this place called Waikiki show would you like to come no, he wanted nothing to do with it. But here's my point. I've never converted anyone.

My job was to obey God and I went to him. The bid would God want to me, is there a guy like that in your life right now. Maybe it is your father.

Maybe it's a stepfathers, your mom's stepmother. Somebody else that you're so hard against right now, go to them with the gospel that's effectively Peter was being commanded to do and so he obey the Lord.

Unlike Jonah, who went the wrong way but got rerouted and eventually got a right Peter did immediately when God called him to do. Got asked in verse 24 they arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for him, and called together his relatives and close friends to meet Peter. Peter entered his home and Cornelius felt of the formal form and worship. Peter pulled them up and said, stand up, I'm a human being like you Cornelius got up and they talk together and went inside and where the others were assembled and Peter said you know it's against the Jewish law for me to come to a Gentile home like this. But God has shown me that I should never think of anyone is impure, so I came as soon as I was sent for. Tell me now why you said for me such an amazing story, God's getting both of these guys ready the Roman centurion dowels perform, which is pretty amazing. I mean, the centurion, an officer in the Roman army. The occupier is bowing before the occupy the Jewish people, and this was a great act of humility, but it was really an act of worship. Peter says get up on your feet.

Man I'm just an ordinary human being just like you been up Peter's getting it okay okay Lauren I think I've got it figured out.

I would need to do together that she all the weird creatures killing me. This is a Gentile. I'm supposed to go to Gentiles. I got it all right Lord of Peter preaches the gospel to Cornelius, and the result was. He is think of what God can do the life of one person, or Greg Laurie great encouragement today on what God can do will follow his leading.

There's more to come in this message here on a new beginning a study titled never say never yesterday. We are all called to share the gospel.

You made that point many times is not just the job of the pastor or the evangelist by and if we work together we can reach so many more people and that's why you're inviting our listeners to be teammates with this archer.

Yes I would say I would use another analogy I would say coal builders, you know, one of my favorite stories in the Bible is a story of the Amaya who was in the position of great authority annexed to the king. He was called the Kings cupbearer, which meant that he tried the food before the king aided or drank what was served to the king before the king drank a budgie he would end up being a counselor to the king.

But one day he heard about the plight of his fellow Jews and how the walls of Jerusalem were lying in charred rubble. So he leveraged his opportunity in this place of influence to help his fellow Jews, and he went back and let a building program to put the walls back up again everybody participated everybody had a part to play and everyone built that part of the wall that was near their own house so they would be extra concerned about it because obviously they needed that wall around them everybody matters, and so will we reach out to people and say become a harvest partner resting you to build the wall you know that the foundations of our nation are crumbling.

This is why we have this violence on the street. This is why we have these shootings in schools. This is why we have all of the problems in our culture. It's the breakdown of the family.

It's the breakdown of our value system and ultimately it's because we've turned from God. It's time to build the wall back up again and every stone matters in every gift matters and everything you can do to help us here at harvest ministries to rebuild the foundation of the United States matters as well. So I would ask you to join our team and become a part of our building crew and help us reach out to our nation, with the only hope that can change the human heart. It's not a political answer. It's a spiritual answer were calling people to Christ. Join us and you can do your part, along with others, and together we can change the world. Yeah that's right it's it's a privilege to impact our world and in fact is not just a privilege but a responsibility we hope you will partner with us to make an impact for good pastor Greg is extending an invitation for a thousand new harvest partners to help with what God has called us to do in the coming months. Given the size of our network that's really just a handful of new friends in each area who would step forward and say yeah count me in.

So can we count you in harvest partner support is each month and the amount is up to you. We have some special ways to thank our new harvest partners this month would like to say thanks for the copy of Casterbridge book, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon, so contact us today is call 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or go online to us hear from you today will next time more insight on the importance of sharing the gospel. Even with those outside of our comfort zone. Join us here on a new beginning.

Pastor and Bible feature Greg Moore and bank with Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime