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October 12, 2022 3:00 am
We can have a steady diet of donuts and burgers and then blame the giant carbohydrate conglomerates for our weight gain. We can speed and blame the cop for our traffic ticket. But at some point, we all need to take personal responsibility for our choices. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out no one goes to Hell by accident. God gives opportunity after opportunity to choose the path that leads to Heaven. Today, we’ll examine the clear choice where we spend eternity.
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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 God this at our website and learn more about harvest email@example.com was everybody in the house and force anyone to go there, Mr. Greg Laurie for John God gives everyone an opportunity to avoid judgment to many choose their own way then going on the road to hell is paved with excuses was therefore a prison in which the doors are locked from the inside by us therefore locked from the outside. By God's where it's really up to own a bird flying the giant carbohydrate conglomerate, we can speed and blame the crop for traffic but at some point we all need personal responsibility for today and a new beginning for Greg Laurie. No one goes to help my God gives opportunity after opportunity. Choose the path that leads to heaven today will examine the clear choice where we are one of the criticisms of work for many years was you know I don't like all these help fire and brimstone preachers. I like to hear that sort of thing. And you know in a way I see that point, but here's my question.
When's the last time you saw hellfire and brimstone preacher. This is a subject that many pastors avoid now understand I'm not advocating hellfire and brimstone preachers if by that we mean you no condescending, self righteous, sweaty, weird people yelling at people.
Okay. But if by that we mean someone that tells the truth about both heaven and hell, maybe we could use a few more of them. Now I'm not saying that we would be talking about hell now every week. It's not like going to harvest all hell all the time know that but were not going to avoid the topic because I think we make a huge mistake when we say I don't want to discuss this subject because as I pointed out before Jesus spoke more about hell that all the other preachers of the Bible put together so Jesus, the very author of grace spoke about how more often in a vivid bloodcurdling manner than anyone else, it must be a crucial truth.
If Jesus took the time to address it over and over again and clearly it matters so we need to know more about it now will get a look at Luke chapter 16. This is a behind-the-scenes look of the afterlife.
A look at what really happens when a person leaves this life. This story that Jesus told his true story.
I might add, tells us what happened to a believer and a non-believer so Luke 16 let's read together starting in verse 19. There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and he lived each day and lecturing reading from the new living translation and that is Gately a poor man named Lazarus was covered with sores as Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table. The dogs would come and lick his open sores. Funny, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet drop down to verse 22 know I'm reading from the new King James version. The rich man also died and was buried in being in torment in Hades he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off Lazarus in his bosom and he cried and said father Abraham, have mercy on me, send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue fried tormented in this flame. Abraham said, son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. Now he is comforted you are tormented. Beside all this beside between us. There is a great gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from their past due us. Then he said I bet you therefore, father that you would send him to my father's house. I have five brothers that he may testify to them. Less they come to this place of torment. Abraham said Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. And he said no father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they were repentance and he said to him that they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither what will they be persuaded, the one rise from the dead. So. There we learned a few important things about hell that if you're taking notes you might want to write these down number one and help people suffer.
I know that's a hard thing to wrap your mind around, but it's taught in Scripture. The rich man spoke of torment indicating suffering is a real thing in the hereafter. The word torment is used four times in the text of the story. When nonbelievers died they don't go to purgatory.
There's no such place as purgatory nor do they go into a state of soul sleep that doesn't exist either, nor are they reincarnated as a higher or lower life form depending on what kind of like they've lived. The Bible says it's appointed and women to die and then comes the judgment now.
Ultimately, the first of all, the go to Hades but ultimately they go to a place called the lake of fire spoken of. Later in the book of Revelation that is after the great white throne judgment. Of course, the first question the terms and reminders. The obvious one. How could a God of love. Send someone to hell). I thought God was loving.
Why would he allow something like this. Okay, let me respond with this statement is not God giving people what they really wanted CS Lewis put it this way. Quote there are only two kinds of people in the those who say to God, thy will be done and those to whom God says in the end, thy will be done. All horn held choose it without self choice, there would be no hell." So you're really choosing this Timothy Keller put it this way, quote people only get in the afterlife with the most wanted either to have God as Savior and Master to be their own saviors and Masters L is simply once freely chosen path going on forever."
You know, we wanted to get away from God and God in his infinite justice sends us what we want to go so is Hannah want God. I don't want Jesus. I don't want to have been.
I don't want forgiveness. Okay, you're just basically charting your own course toward a final judgment number two. Once you are in hell. You cannot cross over to have so you can pray for a person or do anything to get a person out of this place. It's done.
Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body will be passed from the visible world into the invisible world. It's a one-way trip now for the believer. It marks our entrance into paradise in the presence of Christ. For the nonbeliever in March.
Their entrance into Hades or hell. Number three. Your conscious there, and fully aware of where you are. Your conscious there, and fully aware of where you are. Notices guy mentions his brother's verse 28 55 brothers and I want to testify to them so they don't come to this place of torment. You know, so he's kind of angry even seems angry that God had about this place and this is unfair and I want to go warn my brothers and Abraham effectively puts them in this place for 29 Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear that, notice the rich man did not see a great time and I glad my brothers are coming because were going to party because you gotta fight for your right to party.
The beastie boys told me that you're not going to party and help you to be torture and eternal separation from God.
Yes, he says, but one of one goes to them from the dead, then they will repent what they let's say someone die and we could do a legitimate resurrection were God brought the back from the grave would people believe is a result of that happened to a guy name Lazarus. But this Lazarus another Lazarus. Remember Lazarus died.
He had been in the tomb for multiple day in the immortal words of Martha King James.
He said Lord. By now he stink it.
That's King James for he was decomposing. He was long gone and what did Jesus do. We went to the tomb of Lazarus and he said Lazarus come forth and Lazarus was restored to life and what a drag to be Lazarus been in heaven like three days now. It's awesome. And the Lord says I have some bad news. Have to send you back and you have to go back now. Why is Jesus is calling you back there. It's a good thing. Jesus didn't just say come forth because of you just said, come forth every body and every grave all around the planet would burst out simultaneously yet to be specific. Lazarus, come forth. These all wrapped in bandages is what tenant awkward help of the on ground him and he was a lot. So then we come to the scene in the Bible where Jesus is with his disciples Martha serving marries me the food and Lazarus is.
I mean can you imagine how amazing that conversation would been so Lazarus tell me a little bit about the afterlife.
He was alive. He was a man brought back from the dead, so everybody believed right now the Pharisees started plotting about how to kill Lazarus. All great he gets to die twice now, but my point is simply this. Here was a man brought back from the grave was alive in front of them and they wanted to kill why because the world doesn't like to see resurrected people the world doesn't like to see people transformer the power of God. The world is a like it when somebody is been a heroin addict or alcoholic say I've been set free by Christ. The world doesn't like it when someone who's been in a gay lifestyle says God is transforming that I've left that lifestyle that I'm following Jesus all they don't like to hear that story they want to silence people who tell that story. And that's why we must tell the story to as many people as we can because Christ can bring people back to life again. Yes, physically, but without question spiritually and really the spiritual resurrection is even more significant than the physical, because even if you're brought back from the grave you die anyway so you may have to die twice. Okay.
And as I said last time no one in heaven if given the choice, would choose to come back to earth again.
We can be sure that by now, of course, the most obvious example cost.
We know that rose from the dead. Jesus. Jesus rose from the dead, and he was crucified he was beaten beyond human recognition. His body was so traumatized. Isaiah said you couldn't even tell he was a man but yet here was Jesus walking among his disciples, preparing a meal for his disciples, and of course he ascends to heaven.
But the point is, did everyone believe after Christ rose from the dead sounded, but many did not. So even if someone came back from the grave.
A person would not necessarily believe yeah so this is what the Bible teaches Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment. I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get in was small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God is so join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org today.
Pastor Greg is presenting an important message about the judgment.
People choose when they don't choose to come to God through Jesus Christ. Let's continue.
Now let's make this personal. Who's going to go to heaven and who's going to go to hell.
It's really up to us. But if we believe biblical teaching. Here's the reality.
Jesus said brought as a way that leads to destruction, and many there are the go that way, but narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there are that find you decide what road you're going to get on you decide if you're going to be on the Broadway. The easy way.
The popular way or you decide if you're going to be on the narrow way of following Christ and God wants everybody in heaven but is not enough force anyone to go there the road to hell is paved with excuses.
Hell is therefore a prison in which the doors are first log from the inside by us and therefore are locked from the outside by God, then repeat that hell is a prison in which the doors are first log from the inside by us and therefore are locked from the outside by Godson, who said where did God send you to hell for the person of Denzer know they went there of their own volition and not only did they go there of their own volition. They practically had to climb over Jesus to get there because here's Jesus who says I don't want you to go to hell to pay the price on the cross so you don't have to and I will forgive you of all of your sin and all you have to do is believe in me, and turn from your sin will I don't want that will please and he pleads with us in throughout our lives. The Holy Spirit calls us in reaches out to us and we say no no no no no no no and then our hearts get hard and harder and harder so we end up in this place really who send this error we set ourselves there. God try to keep us from going there. God is a much better plan for us and that of course is heaven, Jesus effectively phased hell for you on the cross.
2000 years ago Jesus entered the darkness that you might walk in the light. Jesus was forsaken that you might be forgiven because what he say on the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me was that all about.
That was the moment. Many believe when all the sin of the world all of your sent all of my sent all of arson of all humanity, past, present, and those to come was placed on Christ in the he was temporarily separated from the father as he bore our sin, he did all of that for us so we don't have to go to hell. The gospel is a universal declaration that hell is not God's desire for anyone. For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life but God loves you and he invites you, but if you want to go to your father's house. You don't have to and he will make you sometimes I think we wish you would. But he won't.
He gives us a choice in the matter. He says I set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Choose life, that you may live here it Is Your Choice Narrow Rd., Broadway life and death, heaven or hell.
It's up to you. I'm asking you to choose Evan I want you to choose Evan, I want to welcome you in heaven. If you don't want to join me in heaven and you chart your own course in that final day is going to come in this Kennedy well a very final day and so the first thing that comes to my mind is I want to make sure that if there's anyone I know that is not a believer that I go and give them the gospel and you and I think were reluctant to bring hell up because it really might offend you can't tell him the truth might be like going to the doctor and you're very sick and you can read going to vacation any want the doctor to give you, you know, clean bill of health. You want to see your good to go. The doctor rents testing you know she really, you're in trouble you to go in for surgery tomorrow and he is going to vacation take a month off. It's all good. The doctors at he should be a doctor. You need to tell you the truth, so I think we're the same way sometimes up all yes believe in Jesus. It's so wonderful to forgive you volunteer sending you that I have and it's also one of I don't believe in Jesus will be due. It's a big deal wanted to say hell, why not. Jesus said hell. The Bible says hell explain it explained that God is want people to go there but I think there's a point where we should warn people about judgment. Otherwise we not declare the whole counsel of God, I'm so glad I'm not going to hell and I'm so glad you're not going to hell because I know that probably everyone here believes in Jesus, but there might be a few of you that don't, and here's what needs to happen now you decide will you spend eternity by what you do with Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for you, he paid the price for your sin, and he rose again from the dead and now he stands at the door of your life, and he knocks and he says if you hear his voice and open the door he will come in.
So here's my question to you. In closing, if you died tonight. Where would you go all go to heaven. And why do you say that because I'm a good person know you're not, what else you got about Girl Scout cookies. The other day. That's nice. What else you got. I'm very careful when I take my trash out the recycling that I keep the garbage 70 okay well she got while I was baptized.
That's nice. What else is only one correct answer.
I turned for my sin to put my faith in Jesus, you're good to go. Good to go. That's the right answer Jesus that other stuff that not all the religious stuff doesn't matter.
You have that hope if you don't.
Do you want it you can believe in him right now you're saying are you telling me that despite the life I've lived in the bad things done. If I were to say to God right now. I'm sorry for my said are you actually telling me ball preacher, are you saying to me that God would forgive me of everyone I've ever done. And I get out go to have. Yes I'm saying that because God says we can happen for you, but you must come to him now were going to pray, to give you an opportunity to ask Christ to come in your life and no that you go to heaven when you die you don't know this. This is your moment to get right with God. Let's pray father we pray now for everybody here.
Everybody watching and listening wherever they may be, and I pray Lord that is we talked about a difficult subject for the true one that you will help people to see. This is no game. This is no joke.
This is the most important thing of all, what will spend eternity and I pray for every person who does not know you that you will help them to come to you and believing you in Jesus name I pray that Greg Laurie important word or prayer.
If you know you need to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will come back to help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes Pastor Greg you spoke a lot about getting the basics right in our Christian faith. We better have a strong foundation to build on yes and you have a helpful resource were making available that addresses the fundamentals of Christian living, don't you. That's right, Dave, and you could read this in one sitting.
It's called the new believers guide to effective Christian living.
Now I know that I'm speaking the people that have known the Lord for many years, but if they're honest, they might say well there sort of stuck. They don't know what's going on. They don't know how to get back into gear. Again, this is a book that's going to take you back to the basics basics you never outgrow things you need to remind yourself of over and over again as an example in this little book. We talked about how to know God through Bible study.
What is prayer. How can I pray effectively why fellowship with other believers matters and we also talk about overcoming temptation dealing with problems discovering the will of God keys to sharing your faith effectively and much much more to get your own copy of the new believers guide to effective Christian living. This is been one of our best received resources we've ever offered.
I know it's going to be helpful to you. Yeah, that's right. And we are eager to get a copy of this in your hands. Let it bolster your own faith or keep copies on hand to give to others who need a hand, and growing in the Lord. Use it as a follow-up resources you share your faith again is called the new believers guide to effective Christian living and will send it your way to say thank you for partnering with us so we can continue to teach believers and reach unbelievers through a new beginning. Contact us today. You can call 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org pastor Greg a couple of moments ago you talked of the importance of coming to the Lord to have our sins forgiven. If somebody listening right now wants to do that. Could you help him yeah I can do that David be happy to in the book of Isaiah we read these words seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous man their thoughts let them return to the Lord and he will have mercy on them and to our God, for he will freely pardon this and that's God's word to you and let me addresses to the person who is never asked Jesus Christ to come into their life. Why don't you do it now that versus seek the Lord while he may be found, God is touched your heart today perhaps and you thought I need this relationship of the Lord.
One of these days I'm gonna make the commitment to Christ no, don't wait for one of these days. This is the day this is your moment, seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Listen God is near to you and he is ready to come into your life and there's another part of this verse when it says let us return to the Lord. I want to also extend an invitation to you that have fallen away from your faith. You fallen away from the Lord, and you need to make a recommitment. So if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to go to heaven when you die, or if you fallen away from the Lord, and you want to return to them. Pray this prayer with me, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I also know that you are a Savior and I need your help. I need your forgiveness come in the my life and forgive me of all of my sins, I choose to follow you from this moment forward be my Savior be my Lord be my God in be my friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer.
Thank you for answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen. And I want you to know on the authority of Scripture. If you just prayed that prayer and minute Christ to surge you and he is forgiven you, so God bless you and we want to help you begin to grow in your new face.
We want to send you some resource materials we call our new believers growth packet it will answer some of the questions you might have and get you started off right. So get in touch for your new believers growth packet will set it free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg for the first time today.
Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go to harvest.org and click the words know God will next time will take a revealing look at Angels and Demons as we present more from the series the afterlife and the eternal jointed here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible Greg floor and will buy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org