Greg Laurie — Things to Do before the End of the World
Things to do before the end of the world. How many of you believe that Jesus Christ could come back in your lifetime, raise up your hand? You believe it's possible. How many of you believe that Jesus Christ could come back at any time? Okay, that's good. Let's just say, for the sake of a point, that we knew that Jesus Christ was returning for us at three o'clock in the afternoon tomorrow. I think the first thing you'd wanna do is make sure our clocks are set properly, right? Now, we know this isn't possible, because no man knows the day or the hour, but having said that, just for the sake of a point, let's say we knew Jesus was coming tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock p.m. I am sure we would all look like saints at 2:45, right? Nobody would be messing around, we'd be wearing our Sunday morning smiles and we would have our come quickly, Jesus, attitudes. Well, the fact is, that's the way we ought to be every day.
Martin Luther once said, quote, "There are two days on my calendar, this day and that day". And that day he was referring to was the day of the Lord's return. The fact is, we should live every day as though it were the day Christ were coming back. We should live every day as though it were our last day. Someone once asked the great evangelist D.L. Moody "How would you spend the last day on earth if you knew it was your last day, how would you spend it"? His response was, "I wouldn't do anything different than I do every day," and that is the way that we should live as Christians. So this is our last message in the book of Daniel. And Daniel is, to a large degree, a prophetic book, which means it speaks of things to come. That's why we've called it end of days. It's a counterpart in the Old Testament to the New Testament book of Revelation.
There's a lot in Daniel about the Lord's imminent return, and there's a lot in the Bible about the Lord's return as well. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, and Christ's return is mentioned no less than 318 times in those chapters. In fact, statistically, one verse in every 25 verses in the Bible mentions the return of Jesus Christ. So this is very, it's an emphasis of scripture. I just wrote this book, Jesus Revolution, about the last great American revival, and I pointed out in our last message that one of the earmarks of that revival was we believed Jesus was coming back again. So some of you are hearing this and you're thinking, well, your timing was just a little bit off, like, maybe by 45 years? Yeah, well, look, here's my response. We've never been closer to the return of the Lord than we are right now, we're 45 years closer, and I still believe that with all of my heart.
Besides, the Bible says, one day with God is as 1000 years, 1000 years as one day, the Lord is not late as some men count lateness, but he's longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Yes, it's true we were praying for Jesus to come back in the early 70s, but let me ask you a question to make a point. How many of you have become a Christian since 1975? Raise your hand, if since 1975. Aren't you glad God didn't answer our prayers? You'd have gone through the tribulation period. So good news is, the Lord's waiting for that last person to believe. Can you imagine if you actually knew who the last person was that was holding everything up? Like, God's waiting for the last person and when they believe, we're outta here.
Well, you know, the rapture happens. And if you knew who it was, would you be tempted to apply pressure on them a little bit? It's like, will you get saved already? Well, we don't know who that last person is, but the Lord does, but of course, we need to be ready. So here in Daniel 12, the prophet is given one final vision. He's given sort of a glimpse behind the veil of the supernatural world, the world of God and Satan, of demons and angels, and of the afterlife as well. Daniel 12, verse one. At that time, Michael the archangel who stands guard over your nation will arise, and there'll be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first come into existence. But at that time, every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued.
Daniel is referring, here, to the tribulation period that we've talked about at length. It lasts seven years, it begins with the emergence of Antichrist, and ends with the return of Jesus Christ. It continues on, many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine as the stars, forever. We'll stop there. The Bible teaches that there is coming a day when Christians will be judged. Now understand, the Bible speaks of the Great White Throne Judgment toward the end of Revelation. That is a judgment that only non-believers will stand before, we read the small and the great stand before God, and the books are opened, and a book is opened, which is the Book of Life, and whoever is not found written in the Book of Life is cast into the lake of fire. That's for non-believers only. No Christians will be there. No Christian would wanna be there.
But there's another judgment seat for Christians, this one is not about whether or not you get into heaven, because in fact, this judgment seat I'm talking about happens in heaven, it's called the judgment seat of Christ, where we will receive rewards for our faithful service to the Lord. And God does give rewards out. I went to my grandson's soccer game yesterday. It's Christopher, he's only five. He's playing soccer quite well. I bribed him ahead of time. I said, "If you score a goal, I'll buy you a toy". It worked for his sister. She wasn't scoring any goals. I said, "If you score a goal, I'll buy you a doll". She scored a goal, and the next game, I said, "I'll get you a doll". She scored three goals, I stopped saying it, it was getting too expensive. But I don't think Christopher has scored a goal yet, so I said that to him, and sure enough, he scored a goal.
Now, here's the problem with sports for kids nowadays. They don't keep score, right? Because everyone's a winner, right? So it's like, who's ahead? Nobody knows, they're all winners. And I think this is ridiculous, by the way, I think we should keep score and there should be a winner and a loser. Because we're setting them up for real life, 'cause in life, there's winners and losers. And guess what, in heaven, there are those who achieve and receive rewards, and there are those that don't achieve so much and will receive no reward. God doesn't say, everyone's a winner, well, in a way we are, 'cause we're in heaven. But, do you want to really have nothing to show for your life when you're in heaven? You see, I'm gonna get to heaven because of what God has done for me by sending Jesus to die on the cross. By grace I'm saved through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast, the Bible says, but now, because I'm a Christian, because I've been saved by God, I should want to do things for him.
So, describing this judgment, First Corinthians three says, on that Judgment Day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. So, we want to be rewarded in that day, because of our faithful service to the Lord. All right, let's shift now, from Daniel 12 over to Luke 12, Luke 12. This is a story that Jesus told about how we are to live as we await his return, it's called a parable. A parable is simply an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, an illustration. I'm reading from the New Living Translation.
Luke 12, Jesus says, "Be dressed for service, and keep your lamps burning as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded, I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron and serve them as they sit and eat". Verse 38, "He may come in the middle of the night, or just before dawn, but whenever he comes, he'll reward the servants who are ready. Understand this, if a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You must be ready all the time for the Son of Man will come when least expected". Now Peter asks an interesting question, "Lord, is this illustration just for us or is it for everyone"? The Lord replied, "A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them, and if the master returns and finds that servant has done a good job, there will be a reward". Now, drop down to verse 48. "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return, and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required".
Now, Jesus is using a first century illustration of a wedding, weddings were different back in the days of Jesus than they are now. Weddings are very expensive now. There's a whole industry catering to it and people can spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a wedding. Now, my wedding cost about $10. Early 70s wedding, it was a hippie wedding, okay? Everybody had long hair and my wife was a vision, a beauty, she actually wore the dress her mother was married in, a classic white wedding dress, timeless. I don't know what I was thinking. I picked the ugliest tuxedo ever made. I had this kind of ruffly shirt, a bowtie, wide lapels. I'm being honest, I look like a pimp, that's this. I had long hair, long red beard, I don't know why she went through with it. Seriously, she should have looked at me and said, eh, I don't know. But you know, underneath all that hair, Cathe could see a bald man, and that's exactly what she got. But it was, 44 years later, we're going strong, so we're thankful to God. It's not how much you spend.
Well, back in biblical times, their weddings weren't like ours. Our weddings, we send out the invitation, you arrive, the ceremony takes place, there's a reception following, et cetera. Back in these days, a wedding could last upwards to a week, it was a big event, a big feast, and there was sort of a fun element to it, everyone would arrive ready to go, but you did not know when the groom was coming. So the groom might come in the morning or in the afternoon or in the evening, and when he was on his way an announcement would be made. The groom is coming, so everybody fell into place and the ceremony took place. So with that in mind, that's what Jesus is talking about. Maybe he will come later than we're expecting, okay? So, here's point number one if you're taking notes. We should be shining lights in a dark place. We should be shining lights in a dark place. Look at verse 35, be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning.
Now, back in those days, everyone wore these long flowing robes. So, when it says that you are to have your lamps burning and be dressed, or as King James puts it, have your waist girded, it means tighten your belt. So they would wear a belt over their long flowing garment, in those days and on the belt you might have a flask with oil for your little lamp and other things, and so the idea of tightening the belt was sort of pulling your robe up above your knee, tightening the belt, giving you freedom of movement, right? So that's the idea that's being conveyed. So if we were to put it into our vernacular today, it would be like saying, have fresh batteries in your flashlight, or have your phone charged. Or have gas in your car. I don't know why it is, but my wife loves to run my car to the bottom of empty. And she'll say, "It says we have another nine miles," and I'll drive the car, just praying I make it to the gas station, right? That's not a good way to live.
And so, in the same way, you wanna have your tank filled, you wanna have your phone charged, and in light of the Lord's return, you wanna be ready for his return. So you take that fuel, that oil, and you pour it into your little dish. Now, back in those days, their lights would be like a little clay dish, and you would have oil in it and a floating wick, and so that's how you fueled your little first century flashlight. So always have a little extra oil, that flask on your belt. So, the idea is, be brightly shining. Always have oil to shine brightly. And as our culture gets darker, we as Christians need to shine brighter. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven".
Notice it says, let your light shine so people see your good works. So it's not only talking about the gospel, I think you know we believe in talking about the gospel here at Harvest, if you know nothing, you know that. We believe in verbal proclamation. We're not ashamed of the gospel. But having said that, we need to live the gospel and we need to demonstrate and show the gospel to people, being a good and godly neighbor. If someone's in a hospital, you go visit them. If someone needs prayer, you pray for them. If someone has hit hard times, you take a meal to them. Doing those things that we do in the name of the Lord. Hey, if a child has no hope, you bring hope to them. Today is Compassion Sunday. Harvest is partnered with Compassion International. You know, there's a lot of organizations out there that help people in need around the world, but the reason we've partnered with Compassion in particular, is because they not only believe in filling the stomach or clothing a child, they believe in sharing the gospel with every one of them, and leading them to Jesus Christ. And that's very important to us. And we think of all these children that are living in impoverished situations. We're focusing our efforts toward two places, Tanzania and Peru, something we can wrap our arms around.
My son, Jonathan went to Peru recently and we shot a little film there, which we'll show you a little bit later in the service, so we wanna give you an opportunity to let your light shine and help these people. Here's our goal, we committed to support 3,000 children. And we've reached 2/3 of that goal. We've already sponsored 2,000 through our crusades. Isn't that great? So we've already been able to sponsor 2,000 through Harvest America and the SoCal Harvest, and we're well on our way to that final 1000, and I think we can do this today. You don't have to do this, no one's pressuring you to do this, don't do it if you don't wanna do it. All I'm saying is, would you pray about it? Because you can take a child, and by the way, we're sponsoring three children now, I think four, actually, and so this is something we're personally doing. Think about this, for, I think it's $38 a month, let me check my note there, that's right, $38 a month you can sponsor a child.
Think about how much you spend on a latte, if you get a latte every day. What are lattes now, like 20 bucks each? I don't know, they're a lot. You could sponsor, for what you spend on a latte every day, three children, it's crazy. So you can do so much with just a little bit. So I'm gonna ask you to prayerfully consider that and we'll give you an opportunity to do that a little bit later in the service, but we want to show compassion, why? Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, "When I was hungry, you fed me, when I was thirsty, you gave me drink, when I was a stranger, you took me into your home, when I was naked you gave me clothing, when I was sick, you cared for me, when I was in prison, you visited me". His disciples said, "Well, wait, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink, or a stranger and show you hospitality, or naked and give you clothing, when did we see you in prison and come and visit you"? And he said, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me". So we're doing it for the Lord.
Listen, we all have three things we can give to God. Three things we can give to God. Our treasure, our talent, and our time. Our treasure, our talent, and our time. First, there's our treasure, and that's those finances that God has put under our care. This is why we encourage every believer to give generously to the Lord, because I find that your heart follows your money. Jesus said, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If you've invested in a certain stock, I'm certain you will follow that stock, 'cause you want it to do well, 'cause if it does well, you do well. So when I have invested in the kingdom of God, I'm interested in the benefits of it, where we put our treasure, our hearts will follow. Number two, there's our talent. God has blessed every believer, every person, with talent. You have natural talent, and then you have gifting from the Holy Spirit, God gives gifts to people.
I was talking to a young man the other day who is getting involved in ministry, and he's still trying to find his place and what his real gift is, and I said, "You know what I did when I was your age? I volunteered for everything. I offered to do anything that no one else would do. And you know what I found out? I was bad at a lotta stuff". But I also found that I was good at a few things, a few things, and some of those things surprise me. I didn't know that I had a gifting there, but I did. And so we have these gifts that God has given us, and we come and say, I wanna serve the Lord somehow. Everybody at Harvest can be involved in some way, shape or form in serving. And we rely so heavily on volunteers, but we also know it's a blessing to them to serve. And finally, there's our time, our time. God gives to each of us 1,440 minutes to use every day. 24 hours to invest, now you have to sleep for part of that, of course, but for those other hours, we're responsible for what we do with them. That is why the Bible says, redeem the time because the days our evil. And that word redeemed could be translated, make sacred and wise use of every opportunity.
So back to our story, Jesus is saying, have your bags packed and be ready to go, even if your master doesn't return as quickly as you had hoped. Look at verse 38, "He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn, but whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready". So Jesus is saying, even if I come later than you originally expected, be ready. Y'all remember in one of the stories of Jesus sending his disciples across the Sea of Galilee, and he went onto a mountaintop, no doubt to pray for them. He said, go to the other side. Which meant they're gonna get to the other side. It doesn't mean it would be smooth sailing, but it meant they would get to the other side. So as they're making their way across, a great storm arises, and it's so bad, they're really starting to panic a little bit, they're wondering if they're gonna survive, and they're praying, and they're calling out to God, and they're living in complete fear, and we read that Jesus came to them on the fourth watch of the night.
Now what does that mean? Well, back in those days, a day was divided into four watches, and the fourth watch of the night was that time just before dawn, which meant that the disciples had been battling that storm for nine long hours. And I wonder if you're going through a storm right now, a storm that just won't seem to let up, and just about the time it seems to be getting better, it actually gets a little bit worse, and you're wondering, does God know what I'm going through right now? Is he paying attention? Did he hear what the doctor just said to me? Does he know about my marital problems? Is he aware of these challenges I'm facing with my kids right now? Does God know this hardship that I'm dealing with, is he aware? Yes, he's aware, 'cause even when they were out at sea, even though he wasn't in the boat yet, he was watching and he was praying. And you need to know that God is watching over you, Proverbs 15:3 says, the eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good. Yes, he came, seemingly at the last minute, but sometimes he does that so we will completely exhaust our resources. When we've come to the very end, it's been said, when you get to the end of yourself, you get to the beginning of God. Are you at the end of yourself right now? You've just pulled all your hair out. I have. Yeah, I don't know where to turn.
Reminds me of King Jehoshaphat, clearly he had a weight problem. First service laughed at that, I don't know what your problem is. Jehoshaphat? And I said he had a weight problem, and you didn't even laugh. They thought it was funny, I don't know, what are you, the more sophisticated people, what's going? Nah, I'm just kidding. And I didn't even think it was funny the first time. I was surprised when they laughed, frankly, anyway, Jehoshaphat was the king. No, don't laugh anymore. That was his real name, it was his real name, and that's kind of cruel for you to laugh at it. No, he's not here, but there might be a Jehoshaphat here. I'm not gonna ask, 'cause there probably will be. It'll be a very awkward moment. But anyway, here's Jehoshaphat, he has this enemy approaching him, a massive army. He has no way to protect himself. He's standing there with the wives and the kids, and all the people are pretty helpless. Then he said, "Lord, we don't know what to do about this great army, but here we are, and our eyes are upon you". And the Lord came through for them.
Is that how you feel right now? The Lord will come through for you, sometimes in the fourth watch. You just need to be ready. He may come in the third watch, the fourth watch, but know this, he's coming. I love Peter, verse 41, "Is this illustration just for us, or is it for everyone"? Well, answer, it's for everyone. Because 2,000 years later, we're talking about it. And as I've said, we've never been closer to the Lord's return than we are now. Number one, we're to be bright and shining lights.
Number two, we are to be watching for him. We are to be watching for him, verse 37. "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. You should be watching". What does that mean? Standing around, on a street corner, staring at the sun, come quickly, Lord. No, you'll probably be arrested. That's not what it means. To be watching means to be alert, to be aware, to pay attention. When you see things happening that are fulfillment of Bible prophecies, the Bible says, when you see these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption is drawing near. Scripture tells us that Christ will return a second time for those who are looking for him.
Number three, we are to be ready to go. Ready to go, when I leave on a trip, I pack my bags the night before, 'cause I usually take morning flights. And by the way, I always overpack. I'm the worst, I pack more than my wife packs. It's embarrassing, big suitcase, Greg, smaller suitcase, Cathe. And she always will say, "Why do you schlep all that stuff everywhere"? And I say, "You never know what you'll need," and sure enough, she forgets something, and I have it in my bag. My bag is like Felix's magic bag of tricks. Remember that?
♪ Felix the cat ♪
♪ The wonderful wonderful cat ♪
♪ Whenever he gets in a fix ♪
♪ He reaches into his bag of tricks ♪
Right? So, oh, I forgot my power source on my computer. Oh, look here, I have an extra. Oh, I forgot the charger for my phone. Well, look at this, I have one extra one for you. So you know, and then when we're out and about, I keep things in the trunk of my car, like extra jackets? Cathe'll say, "Why do you carry all that stuff"? You never know when you'll need it. We're in a restaurant, she's cold. Oh look, I have a jacket in the back of my car. I'm just rationalizing the fact that I'm a hoarder, okay? But you have your bags packed and you're ready to go. You have the right shoes on. Think of your running shoes. We have shoes for comfort and we have shoes for maybe a certain outfit.
Now, when Cathe and I went to the White House, we had to get her just the right outfit. And she brought home some dresses, and I said, "No, those aren't quite right, we have to get just something perfect". And so we found a great dress, and she got some shoes, some heels to go with it, and I don't think we realized how uncomfortable they were. She didn't think she'd have to walk far, but when you go to the White House, you walk a lot, 'cause you walk in from the street, you go through all these little checkpoints and you walk and walk and walk and walk and you're finally there, and by the time we got there, she was just in such pain. But hey, she looked good. It would not have been appropriate to go in with Nike running shoes, though those would have been very practical. And so, but the idea that Jesus is communicating in this is have your comfortable shoes on, get ready to go, have gas in your car, have your phone charged, in other words, be ready for the Lord's return. Live that way, ready for the Lord's return.
So, when you're gonna go somewhere, ask yourself the question, this place, that I'm gonna go, these people I'm gonna hang out with, this thing I'm about to do, would I be ashamed or embarrassed to be doing this thing if Christ were to come back again? And if the answer to that is yes, then change your plans, and live in such a way that you're in a state of readiness for his imminent return. Because if you really believe Jesus is coming back, it should affect you and the way that you live. Number four, we should not only be ready, we should be anxiously awaiting his return. Look at verse 36, "Be like men who wait for their master when he will return from the wedding and knocks, they'll open to him immediately".
Imagine if Jesus were coming over to your house for lunch today. And so he says, I'm on my way, and then he texts you, 10 minutes out, five minutes out, getting close. Pulling into your driveway. You'd just be, right? You'd be excited, you'd be seeing him come up the walkway. Here he comes, here he comes, open the door. That's how you would welcome Jesus, I'm sure. We had a friend coming over the other day to pick up Cathe, one of her girlfriends, they're going to some planning meeting. She likes to have planning meetings to plan meetings to plan other meetings, and so, anyway, it's one of the many meetings, and so, she came and so I saw her coming up the driveway, so I grabbed the door, I'm gonna open the door before she knocks on it, so she's right there like that, and I go, pulled it open, she jumped sideways four feet, like this. And I almost gave her a heart attack, and I felt very bad. She wasn't ready for that, but that's the idea. Jesus is coming, open the door. I think it all comes down to how your relationship is with God.
Remember when you were a little kid, and you would get into trouble, and your mother would use those ominous words, just wait until your father gets home. And here comes dad, pulls up in the driveway, oh, ugh, right, but if you had done nothing wrong, oh, Daddy's home, excellent! See, if you're walking with God, you don't dread the return of Jesus, in fact, your reaction to this idea that Christ could come back at any moment is a real indicator of where you're at spiritually. I think when you're right with the Lord, you will say, along with the Apostle John, "Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus". If you're not right with the Lord, you probably wouldn't say that. Point number five, we're to be not only waiting anxiously, we are to be working, working, verse 43. "Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes," so doing.
The Bible says faith without works is dead. If watching is the evidence of faith, working is the evidence of faith in action. Watching for the Lord's return will help us prepare our own lives, but working will ensure we bring others with us. And notice that Jesus says, blessed is the person that is living this way. The word blessed can be translated happy, it's a happy thing to live a life always ready for the return of Jesus. Let me take it a step further, and this might sound odd, but hear me out. It's a happy thing to be ready to die, what? Yeah, because only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live. Look, nobody wants to die. We all want to get to heaven, nobody wants to go there through death, we would all prefer going there through the rapture, and that could happen, but if it doesn't, the idea is that I got that taken care of.
I've made that commitment to Christ and I'm ready to go. So I wake up in the morning and say, well, if this is my last day, then I'm gonna live it for your glory and if you give me 1,000 more days, or 10,000 more days, Lord, that's up to you, but I'm gonna enjoy each day walking with you. But it's sort of an attitude of, I've got the big things taken care of so now I can live my life the way it was meant to be lived.
Let's summarize and conclude. Number one, we should be shining lights in a dark place. Number two, we're to be watching for him. Number three, we're to be ready to go. Number four, we're not only to be ready, but anxiously awaiting his return, and finally, we are to be working. Now, a final warning from Jesus for the person who's not ready. Luke 12, verse 45, "But if that servant says in his heart, my master's delaying his coming and begins to beat the male and female servants and who eat and drink and be drunk, the master of the servant will come in a day when he is not looking for him". I think this is a description of a person who thinks they're a Christian who is not a Christian, because he's called a servant, which would imply he looks like one of us, but in reality, he isn't. Because he's not ready, he's living a bad life. He's getting drunk, do we have to actually tell you don't get drunk, this comes as a revelation to some people, it's like, well what, what?
Yeah, don't get drunk. Technically, don't get drunk. Don't be drunk with wine, the Bible says, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. But, you know, such as alcohol, why'd you say something? What are they putting in this water around here? It's not just alcohol, it can be drugs, but it can be other things. Other things can dull our senses. Jesus warned about the cares and riches of this life. And it's not so much that, it's not a bad thing to be concerned about what you're gonna eat, or what you're gonna wear, or where you're gonna live or where you're gonna work, those are important things, but don't be obsessed with those things. Be focused on Christ primarily, and those things will find their proper balance and so the idea that's being communicated is be ready and looking and don't be living an ungodly life. He's beating his people that work for him. I mean, don't be doing wicked, sinful things, because you're not ready for the Lord's return.
And I ask you, in closing, are you ready? Going back to Daniel 12 for a moment. It says that there's gonna be this resurrection. Those who believe will be raised to everlasting life. Those who do not because will be raised to shame and everlasting disgrace. The believer has everlasting life. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, and whoever believes in him should not perish," but have what? Everlasting life, that's ours. But a non-believer, they're gonna face everlasting shame and everlasting disgrace. Look, the way to be sure that you're ready to meet God is by believing in Jesus Christ.
Let's go back to that analogy of Jesus coming over to your house today for lunch. Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and I knock, and if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in". So if you want Jesus to come into your house for lunch, you open the door, you welcome him, you give him a seat, you put the meal in front of him. Or you leave the door shut. So Jesus is standing at the door of your life right now. And he is knocking and you have a choice to either say, Lord, come in, or Lord, I don't want you. And those are your only choices. Well, I don't wanna do either. I'm just kind of, like, neutral. So I'm just not gonna answer the door. Look, if I come over to your house for lunch, and I'm out there a half hour still knocking, and by the way, I can see you through the window, and you're enjoying a nice meal, in fact, you're on dessert now, and I'm still knocking and you haven't opened the door, I think, maybe after an hour I'll get the hint. Maybe they don't want me to come in, right? I understand that's a rejection. Well, I'm just not sure, I don't wanna open the door. Well, yeah, but it's a rejection. Call it what it is. You either say yes or no, you either open the door or you leave it shut.
Have you opened the door to Jesus yet? Have you opened the door to him now? He'll welcome you into heaven then. If you leave the door shut to him now, he will turn you away then, sadly, but he will. It's all up to you. If you want your sin forgiven and you wanna be ready for the Lord's return, or just know with certainty that you'll go to heaven when you die, why don't you respond to this invitation that I'm gonna close with now as we all pray. Let's all bow our heads, and everyone pray together with me please, and Father, I pray now for every person here and every person that's watching on all of our campuses. Woodcrest and South Corona, Eastvale, Orange County, Maui. Lord, I pray for all these people. They need you everywhere. People watching online, people that need you. Lord, I pray for any that are here or are watching or listening. If they don't know you, help them to come to you right now and believe. While our heads bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying, how many of you would say today, I need Jesus?
I want to know that I'll go to heaven when I die. I want to open the door of my life and invite him in, I wanna be ready for his return. If that's your desire, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to go to heaven when you die, would you raise your hand up right now wherever you are? And I'd like to pray for you, raise your hand up where I can see it, God bless you. God bless you, hands are going up all over, I hope yours is one of them. God bless you, raise your hand up. Now you guys watching screens right now, you're thinking, well, Greg can't see me through a screen, can't I? No, I can't, actually, but the Lord sees you, and this is a commitment you're making to him. You that are watching this screen, would you raise your hand up right now saying yeah, I need Jesus right here. Pray for me, just raise your hand up, wherever you are, anybody else? If you haven't raised your hand yet, lift it now, let me pray for you, God bless all of you.
Now, I'm gonna ask everyone of you, if you would please, that raised your hand to stand to your feet, and I'm gonna lead you in a prayer of commitment to Jesus Christ. Just stand up, if you raised your hand, even if you did not, but you want Jesus to come into your life, you want him to forgive you of your sin, you wanna be ready for the Lord's return, let me lead you in a prayer, just stand to your feet. By the way, people are standing right now, do you need to be one of 'em? Stand up, wherever you are, and we'll pray together. God bless you that are standing. God bless you, anybody else? Stand now, and we'll pray together. God bless you, God bless you. I'll wait one more moment. There might be a few more. You know who you are. This is your moment, let me pray with you. Anybody else, stand now. All right, all of you that are standing, I'm gonna lead you in this simple prayer. I would ask that you would pray this prayer out loud after me, again, as I pray, pray it out loud after me, right where you stand, pray these words if you would, please.
Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner. And I'm sorry for my sin. I turn from that sin now. And I choose to follow you, Lord, from this moment forward. Be my savior, be my God, be my friend. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering it, in Jesus' name I pray, amen.