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Greg Laurie - God, the Future, and You


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We're in Daniel, chapter seven. The title of the message is: God, the Future, and You. How many of you ever forget things? Raise your hand if you, oh, man, it's becoming a problem with me, okay? I leave stuff everywhere. Sometimes, around the country. I forgot this, here, I forgot that, there.

I heard about an elderly couple that were getting ready for bed one night. And they wife said to the husband, "Oh, Dear, I'm really hungry for some ice cream. Would you go out and get me some ice cream"? He said, "Yes, dear, I'll go out and get you some ice cream". She said, "Vanilla". "All right, vanilla". "Write it down; you always forget". He says, "I won't forget, vanilla ice cream". "With whipped cream". "Okay, vanilla ice cream with whipped cream". "Write it down; you'll forget". "No, no, I won't forget". "No, wait, vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. "Write it down". "I won't forget; I got it. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce". "One more thing, Dear". "Yes"? "I want a cherry on top". "Okay, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. I'll get it". "Write it down". "I won't forget". So, he goes out. Comes back about an hour later and he gives her her ham sandwich. She says, "I told you to write it down. You forgot the mustard".

It's fun to go senile together, isn't it? Cathe and I often joke that between the two of us we have one complete brain. 'Cause I'll remember something she'll forget, and vice versa. So, we help each other out. And sometimes, when a big thing happens to me, an interesting experience, I'll tell her about it, "Cathe, guess what happened to me, today"? "What"? And as I'm telling the story, she'll say, "What color shirt was he wearing"? "Who cares? Let me finish the story". And then, she ask me all these weird details. Like, "Stop interrupting me. I need to finish the story". So, I finally get through it an hour later and there it is. And so, then, maybe a week later, I'm telling the story to someone and Cathe will interrupt me, "That's not the way it happened". "Excuse me, you weren't even there". "But that's not the way you told it to me the first time". And you know what really bugs me? She's right.

Well, I have good news for you, today. God never forgets anything. He remembers everything and that's very important to understand. See, God, being eternal, lives, well, He lives in the eternal realm, and all of life to God is a continuum to Him. Past is present. Future is past. And while we live in the moment, we remember the past, we somewhat remember the distant past, and we anticipate the future, but that's it for us. God sees it all as one big thing. It's like, He knows the future with complete accuracy as well as we might know the past, even better, because He doesn't forget things. And so, that's the way He sees life.

And so, as we come back to the book of Daniel, we're gonna see how the Lord will now predict the future for us. When we last left Daniel, he was with this furry friends, in the lions' den. This was under the reign of King Darius. But at this particular juncture in Daniel, Daniel, chapter seven, we go back chronologically. And he wrote these things, and he had this vision back during the realm of, rule of Belshazzar. Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon, the young king that blasphemed the Lord and saw the writing on the wall, and so forth. So, Daniel's probably around 70 years old, at this point. God gave to the prophet, a very troubling vision about his future and the future of the world. The prophet, who'd held his ground with kings and lions, was a little bit freaked out. We're gonna see that his face grew pale and he was trembling at the thought of what was about to come.

So, he used his phone-a-friend option and he asked an angel to explain it to him. 'Cause this was over even Daniel's head. Even though he was able to interpret dreams, he couldn't figure out what this vision meant. And, by the way, we are now in the in-between spot of Daniel. The first six chapters of Daniel are historic, and the last seven chapters of Daniel are prophetic. So, the first seven chapters of Daniel is where we find all those great Bible stories that we love: Daniel and the lions' den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. And honestly, a lot of people never get beyond Daniel one to six, but when you get to seven to 12, now we're into the prophecy, where the future is predicted for us.

And this is very important because every Christian should have a working knowledge of Bible prophecy, or to use the theological word, the study of eschatology, end times events. Now, some would say, "You can't understand all of that; there's no point in studying it because there's disagreements about it". Well, that may be true, but we must understand it. I mean, Jesus said, "When you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, let the reader understand". Why would Jesus say that if the reader, that would be us, could not understand? He wants us to understand. The parallel book to the book of Daniel, in the New Testament, is the book of Revelation. The two go hand in hand. If you want to understand Revelation, study Daniel. If you want a better understanding of Daniel, study Revelation. There's a very important connection between the two books. But the very word, revelation, means unveiling. By the way, it's the book of Revelation, singular, not Revelations.

All the time, I hear Christians say, "Well, I was reading Revelations". No, Revelation. I digress. Anyway, back to, what does the word revelation mean? It means the unveiling. Why? Because it is God's desire to reveal, not to conceal. He wants us to understand these things, plus, as I pointed out in my first message in my Daniel series, I told you about a promise found in Revelation, a promise of blessing to anyone who would read the words of the book. Revelation 1:3 says: Blessed, or happy, is the man or the woman who reads and hears the words of this prophecy and keeps the things that are written in it. For the time is near. So, first, you have to read it. Then, you have to hear it, understand it. And then, you have to keep it. You'll be blessed. And what is true of Revelation, I think is true of the study of Bible prophecy in general.

So, why will I be blessed if I study Bible prophecy? Number one: Because I will remember that God is in control of all of the events in this world, today. 'Cause we live in a scary world. We live in an unstable world. We live in a chaotic world. But God's in control, and when I study Bible prophecy, I'm reassured of the fact. And number two: When I study Bible prophecy, it gives me a heavenly perspective. I'm reminded that I'm just traveling through this life and the afterlife is coming. If you really believe Jesus is coming again, it will affect you in the way that you live. How many of you believe Jesus Christ could come back in your lifetime? Raise your hand up. Well, that's good; that's almost everyone.

Now, if I really believe that, is that gonna affect me in the decisions I make for today? Is that going to affect me in the plans I make for tomorrow? Absolutely. Because I'm told, over in 1 John, He that has this hope, that is the hope of the imminent return of Christ, purifies himself even as He is pure. That's why we should study Bible prophecy. And so, that's what we're gonna find right here, in Daniel, in this series that I'm calling: The End of Days. Daniel is now placed in what we might describe as a spiritual time machine. Now, I don't think it was a DeLorean, but he did go back to the future, if you will. He was shown what was coming to the world. He sees the history of the world from his day to the last days, from Babylon, the kingdom he was in at this moment, to the reign of the antichrist, which will be the final kingdom on this planet.

So, Daniel saw the future, then he saw the Lord, and finally, he saw himself. And that will be my main outline: Daniel saw the future, he saw the Lord, and he saw himself. Let's talk about the future. Daniel, chapter seven, starting in verse one. Read along with me. I'm reading from the New King James Version. In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a troubling dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down his dream, telling the main facts. And Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came out of the sea, each was different from the other. The first was like a lion, and he had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it". We'll stop there.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. "Uh, what"? Now, before you get visions of Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra, remember Godzilla? And then, Rodan was that kind of winged creature. Mothra was cool because he was just a big, giant, dumb moth. Moths are so stupid, aren't they? But, no, that's not what this is talking about. These are symbolic things that we're reading, here. The four dangerous beasts that are given to us, here, in Daniel 7, represent kingdoms of the world. Well, the Bible says they come out of the sea. That's a phrase the Bible uses to describe humanity. We see the same thing in the book of Revelation. They're coming out of the sea. We even use the phrase: the sea of humanity. Different animals are mentioned. We have a lion. We have a bear. And we have a leopard. And each of these represent a nation, and even today, various creatures represent nations.

Great Britain is represented by a lion. The United States is represented by an eagle, and I might add, a bald eagle. And I appreciate that. Of course, Russia's represented by a bear. China's represented by a dragon. So, the point is, that this is something that is still done today. So, these are the great kingdoms of the world. But I find it interesting that as the Lord gives this vision to Daniel, and He shows him the future, He likens the kingdoms of the world to crazy, ravenous beasts. We look at nations, with all their technology, sophistication, and power, having their big military parades, driving their hardware through the streets of the city, looking at all they can do. And God looks at it and He says, "You're just like a bunch of crazy, hungry beasts attacking one another".

Despite all of our advances in technology, mankind just finds new ways to blow himself up. It reminds me of this story of the Tower of Babel, found in the book of Genesis. Man decided to build a tower as high as he could build it. And he was so proud of his tower because from the tower he thought he could see the heavens. Meanwhile, up in heaven, this tower was so little, so minuscule, God could not even see it. In fact, we read in Genesis 11:5, the Lord came down to see the city. It's kind of a humorous term. It implies the idea of almost getting down on your hands and knees to see it. Like if you wanted to get down and see what the ants were building. "Oh, look at this little thing the ants are working on". That's how God saw the greatest accomplishment of mankind.

So, here's humanity saying, "We're so awesome. Watch out, God, there's a new kid in town. We have a tower that goes to the heavens". The Lord's saying, "I'm tryin' to find the most powerful telescope here in heaven. I can't see the paltry little thing". That's mankind in all of his accomplishments in the viewpoint of God. Now, by the way, these beasts that we read about in Daniel 7, parallel the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that we read about earlier. Remember, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream where he saw an image of, it had a head of gold, a chest and arms of silver, belly and thigh of bronze, and then, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. That parallels this vision, it's the same idea with different illustrations. So, first, we have the winged lion, in verse four, also known as the head of gold. This is mighty Babylon.

Multiple times in scripture, Babylon is identified as both a lion and an eagle. In our archeological discoveries, they see the Babylonians themselves use this imagery. Look at this image on the screen, right now. This is from, this is in a museum, right now, and this is taken from the walls of Babylon. So, it's a winged lion. That is the image they had. Mighty Babylon lasted from 636 to 539 B.C. And ruled much of the world. In this vision, the lion stands like a man and is given a man's heart. And this reminds us of how the ruler of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was so powerful, but then, he was humbled, remember. When he looked at his kingdom and said, "Look at the great kingdom I've built. Aren't I awesome"? And the Lord said, "Judgment is coming on you".

And Nebuchadnezzar lost his senses for a period of time. They were restored to him. So, he was given a heart of man. That's what that is alluding to, but of course, Babylon was defeated by the Medo-Persian forces, under the direction of King Cyrus, bringing us to the bear with three ribs in his mouth. And that parallels of breasts of arms and silver, the Medes and Persians. Verse five, another beast comes like a bear, raised itself up on one side and he had three ribs in his mouth between the teeth of it, and he said to it, "Arise and devour much flesh". Don't think of a teddy bear. Don't even think of a panda bear. Think of a grizzly bear. Think of an aggressive bear.

There was a film made a while back called, Grizzly Man. And it was about a young man who felt he had a special connection to bears. And so, he went out with his video camera and filmed them, had thousands of hours of footage, and said he had a special connection to them, he can even pet them. And then, they lost contact with him for a period of time and sent a search party. And he had been killed and eaten, along with his girlfriend, by a grizzly bear. Because that is the nature of a bear. A bear is there to destroy, to conquer. And that was the Medo-Persian Empire. They defeated mighty Babylon. But then, they were defeated by Greece, represented by a leopard with four wings. The wings imply speed. So, leopards are already fast cats, but when you put wings on them, they're even faster. And that is given to us in verse six. There's a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a bird. He also had four heads. The beast had four heads and dominion was given to him.

Greece was led by Alexander the Great. Alexander was a brilliant military tactician. In fact, history tells us that Alexander and 35,000 Greek soldiers went up against the Medo-Persian army of 300,000 on the battlefield and won. That's what's so amazing. So, it's not a big bear, it's a fierce leopard, moving with great speed. But then, Alexander died at the age of 32. Is this boring to you? I hope this doesn't sound like a history class? It is a history class, but it's a Bible history class, so, wake up. Now, I know you're with me, I know you're with me. So, Alexander, and this is important because this is all just history, we can go back and check all of this, all predicted. This is all in the future for Daniel, but it's all the past for us. And the reason that matters is, now, when the Bible speaks of things to come, we know they're gonna happen as God says they will. Because God lives in the eternal realm.

Anyway, so, here comes Alexander. He dies at 32, unexpectedly. His kingdom is divided among his four generals, hence the phrase: This one has four heads. Now, we have one final beast. It's not likened to a bear, a leopard, or a lion. It's just a ferocious beast. Verse seven: "After this I saw in the night visions, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, strong, exceedingly. He had great iron teeth; it devours and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from the beasts that were before it; it had ten horns". So, who defeated Greece? History buffs, tell me. Who defeated Greece? - Rome! - Rome, that's correct. And Rome was a powerful nation, a powerful military unlike any other that had ever existed. Rome was very well known for its power and its cruelty. It was Rome that crucified the apostle, Peter, and beheaded the apostle, Paul. It was Rome that banished John to the island of Patmos.

Most significantly, it was Rome that crucified our Lord, Jesus Christ, outside of the walls of Jerusalem. The Romans crucified thousands and thousands of people and conquered most of the world, and established something called, Pax Romana. Forced peace. You either submitted to the power of Rome or you died. Originally, Rome was ruled by the Senate, but later, the emperors became more powerful and then, demanded worship. They saw themselves as deities. They demanded that people say, "Hail, Caesar," which was, in effect, giving glory and praise to Caesar, which was kind of a problem with the church, because they would not give their worship to a man. And because of this, many of our Christian brothers and sisters, in the first and second century, died under the persecutions of Rome because they would not say hail Caesar.

Now, here's the funny thing about Rome, they were never defeated by another power. They just fell apart slowly, but surely and crumbled. And so, as the story unfolds, there's this powerful, ferocious beast, but then, out of it later, comes 10 horns. What's that all about? In the Bible, horns are symbols of power. So, the Bible is saying 10 nations are going to come together, kind of routed in Rome, in the end times, and this will be the confederated nations of the coming world leader, the antichrist. Now, we're into the future. We've already seen Greece. We've already seen the Medo-Persians. We've already seen Babylon and we've Rome. But we have not seen the forces of the antichrist. And out of these horns, we also read about a little horn, in verse eight, that was among the others, had eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. This little horn, as we will discover, is the antichrist.

You might say he's tooting his own horn, right here. And we'll see that's what he's all about. We'll talk about him at length in our next message, the antichrist. So, let's come back to our bigger outline. First, Daniel saw the future. Then, Daniel saw God. Look at verse nine: I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. And a fiery stream issued and came forth before him and thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: and the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Now, this is an awe-inspiring glimpse into heaven itself. Look, you want to know what heaven is like. You don't need to buy the latest book or watch the latest film of someone that says they died and went to heaven, and read about them flyin' around on unicorns and rainbows and whatever fanciful things they may dream up. No, you want to know what heaven is like? Read the Bible. Everything you need to know about heaven is in the Bible. You don't have to go beyond the scripture. Actually, you should not go beyond the scripture.

So, here's a glimpse into glory. Here is God represented as the Ancient of Days. An Ancient of Days emphasizes his eternal nature. God has neither beginning nor end. And this physical description of God is not literal, but symbolic, because He doesn't wear clothes or have white hair, but it speaks of His holiness and purity. The fire speaks of judgment against sin, and the wheels symbolize a continuous working of God in this world, in ways that we cannot understand. This is a powerful, holy, righteous God that we're getting a glimpse of. For years, I think, the church talked a lot about the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and told us we should have the fear of God. So, you went into a church sanctuary, there was a reverent tone, a certain respect you would give. But then, I think, there was a swing in another direction.

I think it was a good thing, where we talk more about the love of God, the mercy of God, the forgiveness of God. But my question is: Have we, in some ways, gone too far the other way? Should we not talk about both? Should we not talk about a loving, gracious, forgiving Father, who longs for a relationship with us, but not leave out the fact that He is holy and righteous and just? Those are all important. Because does not the Lord Himself say, "Be holy as I am holy". I think, there's so much worship, today. I love worship, like a whole kind of culture of worship has developed. And I had the privilege of actually being around when what we call contemporary worship was born. It happened during the Jesus Movement.

And nowadays, when we go to church, we don't find ourselves surprised if we see guitar amps and drum kits, and lights, and all the other stuff that we use, but back in the day, you would never see those things in a church. You'd see an organ and a piano. And if they were on the cutting edge, an acoustic guitar. Right? But then, as the Lord intervened among a whole generation of young people, who are now pretty old people, and I'm one of them, the Jesus Movement, you started seeing electric guitars in church, and fresh new choruses being written, and now, even more so, you have all these wonderful worship bands and worship leaders.

And I think some of the best worship the church has ever had has been written in the last 20 years, maybe. Incredible! So, we're thankful for that, for sure. But I think that one thing we must never lose sight of, is when we worship, we have to understand it's more than just singing. Worship is more than just praying. It's more than just closing your eyes. Worship is not just lifting your hands, it's lending your hand to someone in need. Worship is not just closing your eyes, It's opening your eyes to a lost world that desperately needs the Gospel. The problem with worship and singing is we say, "Well, this is our worship time". But worship is practical. Worship happens before church. Worship happens after church.

Listen, worship is not just singing. Worship is serving. In Romans, chapter 12, the apostle, Paul writes and he says: I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God present your bodies to the Lord as a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God Listen: Which is your reasonable service. Or your spiritual service of worship. And then, he goes on to say: Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. What Paul's basically saying, "Hey, worship isn't just singing. Worship isn't just praying. Worship is giving your life to the Lord each and every day. It's giving your mind to the Lord, your heart to the Lord, your thoughts to the Lord".

Listen, worship is Bible study. This is a form of worship, right now. How am I gonna be transformed with the renewing of my mind without the Word of God? So, this, too, is worship. Worship is giving in the offering. I don't hear any amens. Why, what's going on? What? Yeah, giving in the offering. I saw a bumper sticker a while back that said: Tithe if you love Jesus, anybody can honk. Right? We get all excited. Well, it's the practical things. Worship is being a good and godly husband and father for your family. Worship is being a nurturing and loving wife and mother. Worshiping is being a single person that lives a pure life until the Lord brings that right person to them. Worship is working hard, with honesty and integrity. It's all of these things. These are all acts of worship.

And in fact, if we are not worshiping from the right heart, the Lord even says, "I don't want to hear your music anymore". Over in Amos 5:23, the Lord says, "Away with the noise of your songs. I will not listen to the music of your harps. I want justice to flow like a river". God would, at one point, say, "Stop already. I don't want to hear anymore of your songs if you're not doing these other things". That's why Jesus said, "God is a Spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth". Now, Jesus makes an Old Testament appearance. Did you know Jesus is in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament? Not by name. But Jesus, being eternal, Jesus being part of the Godhead, part of the Trinity, like the Father has always been and always will be.

And now, He makes an Old Testament appearance, right here, in Daniel 7:13. "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, and glory and sovereign power; all nations and people of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed". The phrase, son of man, was used often by Jesus, 82 times, in the Gospels. Jesus said, "Birds have nests, foxes have holes, but the son of man has nowhere to lay His head". So, this is Jesus, the son of man, making this appearance. So, Daniel saw the future, then he saw God, and finally, he saw himself. He saw himself.

Look at verse 15. "I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. And I approached one of those standing there," that would be an angel, "and asked him the meaning of all this. And so he told me and gave me the interpretation of those things". So, here's the interpretation: The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. But the holy people of the Most High will receive and possess it forever, yes, for ever and ever. So, here's the bottom line. Daniel's freakin' out a little bit. He doesn't know what this all means. So, an angel says, "Okay, here's the bottom line. Here's what's gonna happen. These four kingdoms are gonna come, but God's gonna have the last word. So, don't get worried. Don't be agitated. Everything is gonna be just fine".

But here's the deal: Daniel was moved by his study of Bible prophecy and we should be, too. Studying end times events should not be merely an intellectual exercise or some kind of hobby horse. If I really believe these things that I'm reading, it should concern me. If I really believe what the Bible says about a coming world leader, called the antichrist, and a time coming upon the earth, called the Great Tribulation, that should alarm me. 'Cause I don't want anyone that I know to have to go through that. If I really believe what the Bible tells me about future judgment and the reality of hell, that should concern me. Because I don't want anyone that I know to spend eternity separated from God.

So, Daniel was troubled by all of this and he was concerned by all of this. And we should be concerned, too, because, again, studying these things reminds us there's an afterlife. And not only is there an afterlife, but there's coming a day when even you, as a Christian, will give an account of your life before God. Look at Daniel 7:10. Judgment was set and the books were opened. It appears there are books in heaven. Are these literal books? I don't know, maybe. But I think the bigger issue, here, is there appears to be certain documentation of everything ever done by anyone on earth. We have all of our information in the cloud, and it can be hacked and all that. Well, God's databases cannot be hacked. It's secure, but it's all there.

So, what are these books in heaven? Let me just identify a couple of them and we'll close. Well, one of those books is a record of every faithful deed done by God's people. Again, one of those books is a record of every faithful deed done by God's people. Malachi 3:16 says: Those who feared the Lord talked with each other, the Lord listened and had a scroll of remembrance written in his presence concerning those that feared the Lord and honored his name. It's interesting because the Lord is saying, "Every time you speak My name, I pay attention". Do you notice when people use your name? Sometimes, I'll be in some place with my son, Jonathan, and he'll say, "Dad, Dad," and I won't respond. And then, he'll say, "Greg Laurie". All of a sudden, I'll turn. I know my name. You say my name, I'm gonna turn to look at you.

You say the name of Jesus, He's gonna respond. People use the name of Jesus all the time. Sadly, sometimes on profanity. Why is that? Why is it when I hit my thumb with a hammer, I don't say, "Hare Krishna"! Or, I stub me toe, "Ah, Buddha, Buddha"! No. Why do people say Jesus Christ? Because even in their twisted way, the nonbeliever is acknowledging there's no power in the name of Krishna; there's no power in the name of Buddha, but there's a lot of power in the name of Jesus. If I'm around a nonbeliever and they say, "Jesus Christ". I'll sometimes say, "Better be careful, He might answer you, sometime". "What"? "Yeah".

He pays attention when we speak His name. So, when we gather together for worship, the Lord's listening. When it says the Lord listened and heard, it means to prick the ears, sort of listen in more carefully, "Oh, what are you sayin' about Me"? When you initiate a conversation about Jesus, the Lord is eavesdropping. He wants to know what you're saying. He loves it. And not only that, but He will reward you for every act of faithfulness. We're told, over in Galatians 6:9: Let's not get tired of doing what's good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, do good to everyone, especially those of the family of faith.

So, listen, everything you've done, God takes notice. And all of you that serve, here at Harvest, thank you and God bless you. You don't get the thanks you deserve. Maybe you haven't gotten that pat on the back, or that attaboy, but the Lord is watching. The Lord is keeping a record. And He's gonna reward you for every sacrificial act, every gift, every thing you did, every cup of cold water that you offered in the name of Jesus. And there's another book in heaven. And it's a book where God records your sorrows. Psalm 56:8 says: You keep track of all my sorrow. You've collected all my tears in your bottle. You've recorded each one in your book. Many people suffer in life and we don't know the extend of their suffering. Maybe they suffer with an illness. Maybe they suffer with a disability. Maybe they suffer because a loved one of theirs died. When you lose a loved one, people will gather around you and they'll offer their condolences and they'll bring you meals and they'll write you nice cards, and say a lot. And then, after a little bit of time passes, people won't bring it up anymore.

And I think the reason they don't want to bring it up is because they don't want to make you sad by causing you to remember your loved one who has died, but what they don't realize is you're always thinking about your loved one who has died. Right? If you've lost someone you know what I'm talking about right now. You're always thinking about it. And what you don't want to have happen is for your loved one to be forgotten. But listen, I have good news for you. Even if people forget, God doesn't forget. He doesn't forget. Every tear is in His bottle. Every day of sorrow, it's written in His book.

Listen to me now. One day God's gonna make it up to you. And whatever you've lost He's gonna give you something greater in its place and you'll understand why this happened to you. But until that day, just be reassured, it's all in the book. And it's all gonna be good. One last book I want to talk about. There's many other books I could mention, but we don't have time. The Book of Life. That's the most important book of all. And that is a book that you want your name written in. And by the way, I know that my name is written in The Book of Life. You might say, "That's pretty arrogant of you, Greg, isn't it"? Not really. 'Cause I know when I believed in Jesus, my name was put in that book.

Now, I don't know if my name was already there because the Father knew I would believe in Jesus, or if it was written the day I believed in Jesus. I don't think it matters. I just know it's there and I know no one is ever gonna blot my name out of that book. I know my name is there to stay. And yours is, too. So, I want to leave you with this thought, today. You might be going through some hardship, some trials, some difficulties. "It's hot, it's hot". I know it's hot. But just remember this: Your name is written in the Book of Life. That's the big picture, right there. It's written there. One day, the disciples came to Jesus, they're all excited, "Lord, we cast out demons! It's so cool"! I'm paraphrasing. And Jesus said, "Guys, get a grip," still paraphrasing, "Rejoice because your name "is written in the Book of Life". See, that's what you should rejoice over.

Let me ask you, in closing: Is your name in the book? You say, "Well, how do you get it there"? By believing in Jesus. By admitting you're a sinner. By turning from your sin and realizing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for your sin and paid the price for every wrong you've ever done, every sin you've ever committed. And He will forgive you of that sin and put your name in His book so you can know you'll go to heaven when you die, if you will believe in Him. Have you done that yet? Have you asked Christ to come into your life to be your Savior and your Lord? Do you know your name is in the book? If you don't know that, let's get that resolved, right here, right now.

So, in a moment, we're gonna pray and I'm going to extend an invitation to any of you, here, any of you watching, any of you listening, wherever you are. And if you do not have Christ living in you, if you're not sure your name is written in the book, respond to this invitation, now. Let's all bow our heads. Father, thank you for your Word to us, today. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. And now, I pray for everyone here, wherever they may be. Help them to see their need for you and help them to believe in Jesus so they can have their name written in the book.

While our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, maybe some of you who have joined us, today, aren't sure your name is written in the Book of Life, but you want it written there. You want to go to heaven when you die. You want your sin forgiven. You want this relationship with God. If you want God to forgive you of your sin, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want your name written in His book, would you raise your hand up, right now, wherever you are? And I'll pray for you. God bless you. Raise your hand up high, where I can see it. God bless you. Many hands are going up, by the way. I hope yours is one of them. Wherever you are, raise your hand. Let me pray for you. Say: And I want my name in the book. I'm not sure it's there. I want it there. Pray for me. Raise your hand up. God bless you.

Anybody else? Raise your hand up. Let me pray for you. God bless you. You guys that are watching this screen, of course, I can't see you, wherever you are, would you raise your hand, too? Just raise your hand up, wherever you are, wherever you hear my voice. If you want your name written in the book, raise your hand up, now. Now, I'm gonna ask every one of you that has raised your hand, I want you to stand to your feet, and I'm gonna lead you in a prayer. Stand to your feet and you're gonna pray a prayer out loud, where you're asking Christ to forgive you and you're asking God to place your name in the book. Anybody else? Stand up, now, wherever you are. I'll lead you in this prayer. Wherever you're hearing me or seeing me, just stand up, saying: I want my name written in the book. And I'm gonna lead you in this simple prayer. God bless you, that are standing.

Anybody else? Stand now. And we'll pray together. God bless all of you. You that are standing, pray this prayer out loud, after me. Again, as I pray, pray this prayer, out loud, after me. Pray these words: Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. But I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Jesus, put my name in Your Book of Life. Forgive me of all of my sin. I choose to follow You from this moment forward. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. God bless all of you that prayed that prayer. Thank you.
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