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Greg Laurie - Revive Us Again

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    Greg Laurie - Revive Us Again
TOPICS: Revival

America is at a crossroads right now. It seems in many ways that our nation is unraveling before our very eyes. Crime is up, drug use is up, hopelessness is up, and I think the primary reason for this is because we have rejected what God says in his Word. The Bible says, "Be careful, because if you sow the wind, you'll reap the whirlwind". We're in a time where many are wanting to redefine what God has already defined; and in many ways, the times we're living in now reminds me a lot of the late '60s and the early '70s. Drug use is up today. Drug use was just really exploding into the culture back then. Back in those days, we were taking drugs, because we were on a search trying to find truth or something, at least.

Today, many take drugs just to escape their pain. Ironically, marijuana and LSD use is up dramatically, the same drugs we were using back then. In fact, I read recently more Americans are smoking pot than cigarettes right now. This has led to a full-blown opioid epidemic. There's been a 300% increase in Fentanyl deaths. Three hundred people a day die from Fentanyl. It's crazy. This young generation today is looking for answers. Self-harm is up 334%. Overdoses are up 119%. Anxiety and depression is up. The US suicide rate has increased dramatically since the year 2000, and it's tripled for young girls. Maybe that's why one expert dubbed Generation Z the hopeless generation.

Well, listen, I'm not gonna sit back and just watch this happen. We've gotta do something. California, this is your wakeup call. America, this is your wakeup call. It's time to pray. So, you hear words like spiritual awakening, revival, a Jesus revolution. You might wonder, "What does that even mean"? Well, let's just take the word "revival" and demystify it a little bit. It just means to restore, to restore to original condition. So, when I say a Christian should be revived, what I'm really saying is a Christian should just be, well, a Christian, a real Christian. See, there's a lot of fake Christians out there right now. There's a lot of posers, people that pretend to be believers, but are not at all. The Apostle Paul asked us questions. "Are you really Christians, or are you just pretending to be Christians, when you really aren't at all"?

Do you pass the test? A lot of us are faking. But listen, you can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool God any of the time. Right? He knows. He knows, and you know. We need a revival. We need to be real Christians. The early church turned their world upside-down. Today, I fear the world is turning the church upside-down. It's time for us to let our light so shine for Jesus Christ and live this life, earning us the right to share the gospel with others. Right? We need a revival. A great evangelist named Billy Sunday once said, "They told me a revival is only temporary. But so is a bath, and it does you good". Yeah, we could use that bath right now. Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented, he shows up himself.

So, I was talking to Chuck Smith once, who is regarded by most as the father of the Jesus movement, and I asked him, "Chuck, do you think we'll ever see another Jesus revolution, another Jesus movement"? His response was, "Greg, I don't' know if we're desperate enough, yet". Well, some time has passed since then, and I think we may be desperate enough again. The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed this prayer: "I've heard all that you've done, Lord. I'm filled with awe by the amazing things you've done in this time of deep need. Revive your work as you did in days gone by". So, some of you are young, and you're saying, "Wow, that must have been a cool time, to be in the middle of a spiritual awakening". Pray that God will do it in your time.

Listen, my generation, the Boomers, our day is coming to a close. The Boomers have done their thing. Now it's time for the zoomers, okay? It's time for you to have your own spiritual awakening. My generation, the boomers, we've gone from acid rock to acid reflux. Bands from our era are still touring. The Who, they're still out there playing in stadiums. But instead of singing, "Talking about my generation," now they're singing, "Talking about my medication". See, things have changed. So, it's your turn now. We're praying that your generation will have your own spiritual awakening. You know, when we made this film, "Jesus Revolution," we did not make that to have a peace sign nostalgia fest of a bunch of old Baby Boomers telling the story of a revival can inspire another generation to pray for their own. The fame of revival spreads, the flame of revival.

So, we're saying, "Lord, do it again". Okay, now I want to show you a scene from "The Jesus Revolution" film. How many of you want to see a scene from the film? Okay. This is a great scene. It's a great scene based on a true story. The whole youth culture is just unraveling, and Chuck's an older guy. And he doesn't know what's going on, and he doesn't see any hope for this generation. But his wife Kay has a heart for these young kids, and his daughter Jen tells her dad, "You should be more open to reaching them. You've never even met a hippy". And Chuck says, "Well, if God brings me a hippy, I'll talk to them". So, Jen goes out and finds this hippy evangelist named Lonnie Frisbee, and she brought him to her dad, and this is what happened next.

Chuck Smith: So, tell me about yourself, Lonnie, and your people.

Lonnie Frisbee: My people? I like the sound of that. You know, it reminds me of the words of Jesus. "To what then can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like"? I was up in San Francisco for a long time, living in Haight Ashbury, on the streets, all over, and hated everything and everyone. But that was the point. You see, the drugs, it's a quest.

Chuck Smith: For what?

Lonnie Frisbee: For God. How can you not see that? There is an entire generation right now searching for God. Man, we thought acid was gonna save the world. Thank you.

Chuck Smith: Thanks, Mom.

Lonnie Frisbee: That was a lie. As much of a lie as what we were rebelling against.

Chuck Smith: And what brought you to that realization?

Lonnie Frisbee: I kept searching and searching and I just finally got to the end of it, and there was still a void. And my people, well, they're a desperate bunch. And in desperation, man, there's power in that word. What would it take for you, Chuck Smith, to be desperate? Janette tells me you're a pastor.

Chuck Smith: Yes, currently.

Lonnie Frisbee: I know we must seem pretty strange, but if you look a little deeper, if you look with love, you'll see a bunch of kids that are searching for all the right things, just in all the wrong places. So to answer your question: how do I describe my people? They're sheep without a shepherd, chasing hard after lies, and the trouble is, your people reject them. So I ask you, Pastor, how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? We can only walk through doors open to us, and your church, well, that's a door that's shut.

Powerful. Pastor Chuck Smith had the original vision to do these Harvest Crusades over 30 years ago. He stood on this platform for many years. Many of you remember him. But he had this vision. And to his credit, Chuck opened the door. He let the hippies in. And when Chuck met Lonnie, it was like nitro met glycerin, and the result was explosive, and a spiritual awakening broke out, and we pray that God will do it again. So, we want to see a spiritual revival. What should we do? 2 Chronicles 7:14 actually lays out what we ought to do if we want to see this spiritual awakening. God 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".

What a powerful verse that is. We want God to heal our land. America is filled with division. America is filled with conflict. Some even think we could have another Civil War. God, help us. Lord, heal our land. But notice where God points his finger. He doesn't point his finger at the White House. He points his finger at his house, at your house, at my house. He says, "If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray". He's talking to us who are believers. He's saying you guys, it starts with you. "Humble yourself, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from your wicked ways". Do you have any wicked ways you need to turn from right now? You say you're a Christian, but yet you're living in sin. You're doing things the Bible says you should not do.

"Hey, I'm a Christian, but I'm partying and getting drunk on the weekends. Oh, I'm a Christian, but I'm doing drugs. I'm a Christian, but I'm sleeping with my boyfriend or my girlfriend or being unfaithful to my spouse. Oh, I'm a Christian, but I'm lying and ripping people off". Hey, again, check up on yourself. Are you really a Christian, or are you just pretending to be when you aren't one at all? It's time to repent, to repent of your sin. God says, "I want to send an awakening". And we point our finger at Hollywood. We point our finger at Washington. We point or finger at the culture. God points his finger at us and says, "You guys, my people, turn from your wicked ways, and call out to me, pray with passion. Pray aggressively. Don't take no for an answer".

Lord, send a revival. But listen, revival, awakening starts with you. Revival or revolution, to use that word, just means to come back around again, returning to what we might call one's first love. Here's what Jesus says in Revelation chapter 2 to a church that was doing just that. He says, "You've left your first love. Remember from where you have fallen. Repent and do the first works". Listen, if you want to get right with God, as one of his followers, there's three things you need to do. I call them the three Rs of getting right with God.

Number one, remember. Mark that point in time where maybe your faith was stronger. Mark that point in time when you were walking closely with the Lord. Some of you looking at these scenes from this film are having a flashback. You say, "I was one of those Jesus people. I remember". Clear. "I'm still here". Okay, that's nice. I'm glad you were around back then, but how are you doing with the Lord now? Remember.

Number two, if it's not the way it used to be, repent. All the word repent means is to change your direction. It's a military term. It means to do an about face. You just turn around like that, right? So, you turn back. Remember, repent, and then repeat. Repeat, do those first things again. As the apostle Paul says, "Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged". Oh, that's Paul McCartney not the apostle Paul. I knew it was a Paul. That was a joke not a very funny one apparently. All the old people were like, "Pretty good". Kids are like, "Who"?

Kids, there was once a band called The Beatles, okay just see. You're screaming for the Beatles, I'm glad to hear that. Beatlemania is still alive apparently. No, but we need to let it start in our heart. It's so easy to say, "Well, the church should do this, and other Christians should do that". Don't worry about the church. Don't worry about other Christians. Start with you. Are you living a passionate relationship with Christ right now? If not, return to the Lord again. Recommit yourself to the Lord again.

So, let me answer the question that is on the minds of some, which is simply this: "Where are you going to go when you die"? Many of us would say, "Well, heaven". Are you sure of that? I mean, are you absolutely certain you will go to heaven when you die? You say, "Well, I'm hoping that, you know, if I live a good life, the good Lord will let me in". But hold on. You don't want to risk this. You want to know for sure about this. You want to be ready. You need to know the way. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes to the Father but by me". There's one way to heaven, and it's through Jesus Christ. God has dropped one lifeline to heaven. You don't just make up the rules as you go. You wouldn't even use the word "heaven," if you had not heard it from the Bible. It's a Bible word. It's a real place for real people to do real things.

So, how do you get to heaven? Living a good life? No, that's not gonna work. Heard about a man that died and went to the Pearly Gates, and Peter met him, and then Peter said, "Okay, buddy, this is how you get into heaven. It takes 1,000 points". This is a true story. Not really. "Okay, takes 1,000 points to get in. So, tell me all the good things you've done in your life, and I'll give you points for everything good you've done". The man said, "Okay, well, listen. I've been married to the same woman for 50 years. I've never cheated on her. I've never even had an impure thought about another woman". Peter said, "Good, that's worth 3 points". "Wait, three points? How many do I need to get into heaven"? Peter says, "You need 1,000". "Oh, well, okay, wait". This man says, "I went to church every Sunday, and I supported the church with my tithes". Peter said, "That's good. That's worth 1 point". "One point"?

The guys says, "I set up a soup kitchen and opened up a shelter for homeless people". "That's good," Peter said. "That's worth 2 points". "Two points? At this rate, the only way I'm going to get into heaven is by the grace of God". Peter said, "That's 1,000 points. Come on in". See? You think you're living a good life. I hate to break this to you. It's not good enough, because the Bible says we all fall short of the glory of God. Listen to this. Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven people.

Now let me say something that might surprise you. Listen to this. There's gonna be some bad people in heaven, and there's gonna be some, quote, "'good' people in hell". "Oh, I don't get that at all". Okay, let me explain. There'll be some bad people in heaven. How do I get to heaven? By turning from my sin and putting my faith in Christ, who died for me on the cross. Think about that man who was crucified next to Jesus. We call him the thief on the cross, but he was probably guilty of a far worse crime than stealing, probably was a murderer, an insurrectionist; but, yet, he turned to Jesus and said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom". And Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise". Wow. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. That man was an evil man. He was a sinful man, but he said, "Lord, remember me," and Jesus forgave him.

So, in a sense, a bad person is in heaven, but then there'll be some good people in hell; and by that I mean people that trusted in their religion, people that trusted in their good works. The Bible says it's not by works that God saves us, but it's by his grace. That's how we get to heaven. So, how can you know for certain you'll go to heaven when you die? If you haven't heard anything else I've said, tonight, listen to me now, because I'm almost done. Number one, you must realize you're a sinner. We've all sinned. We've all fallen short of God's glory. See, God has given us a standard of perfection. None of us measures up. Now, granted, some of us do better than others, but we still fall short.

So, understand, you're a sinner, and that's why you need a Savior, and that's why Jesus came. Jesus did not just come to this earth to give amazing teachings, though they are the most amazing ever given. He didn't just come to this planet to work miracles. He came to this planet with the expressed purpose of going to the cross and dying for the sin of the world, and that is why Jesus Christ and Christ alone is qualified to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful humanity. With one hand, he took hold of that holy God. With the other hand, he took hold of sinful humanity, and nails were driven through those hands and through those feet, and he died. The Bible says Christ died for your sins. Why? Because he loves you. "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life".

I love the way the Apostle Paul personalized it when he said, "He loved me, and he gave himself for me". Recognize Christ died on that cross for your sin. Then you must turn from that sin and repent of the sin. The Bible says God has commanded people everywhere to repent. So, you say, "Lord, I don't want to live that way anymore. I want to believe in Jesus. I want a new life. I want the hope of heaven. I want my guilt removed". And then you must receive Christ into your life. Listen, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, rose again from the dead three days later, and he's with us right now at Angel Stadium or wherever you are watching or listening, and he's standing at the door of your life, and he's knocking, and he is saying if you'll hear his voice and open the door, he'll come in.
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