Greg Laurie - Just Do It

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Well good morning, everyone. Grab a seat right now. Couple things I wanted to say before we get to our message, and this is our final message in our discipleship series, and we're gonna be in Matthew 28, so you might want to make your way over to that. I was just back in New York City doing media interviews for our upcoming film on on Steve McQueen. That's showing in theaters nationwide this coming Thursday. And I want to tell you something, this film is just blowing up in the best way possible.

I have friends that are sending me photos from newspapers that are doing full-page spreads on this movie. Here's one from a paper in Las Vegas and The Charlotte Observer and many other papers. Major stories, it's all over the place. This is really caught on and people are interested in the story of, well, the conversion of Steve McQueen. A story that has not been heard by many people. And of course this film is gonna open nationwide on this coming Thursday and there's only a few tickets left to our red carpet premiere. Yes, we're having a red carpet premiere at the Big Newport Theater across from Fashion Island in Newport Beach. We have a very small amount of tickets left. So if you're wanting to go to that, you can grab the tickets here in the Bookstore Harvest, Riverside Harvest Orange County. You guys go to the connect table and then there's still tickets available in theaters all around.

So I went back to New York and was able to do some interviews. Before I did one interview I was able to go on the set of Blue Blood. So you know that TV show Blue Bloods? Okay. I love that TV show by the way. And so, one of the men in our film, Stan Barrett, he's a stunt man. He used to be Paul Newman's stuntman, Steve McQueen stuntman, Burt Reynolds' stuntman, and he shared the gospel with Steve, so he's in our film. So he happened to be in town in New York and we had lunch together, and he said, "Hey, would you like to go on the set of Blue Bloods, because my son is directing today". And I said, "Great". So I went there, I took along one of my books and I thought I might meet Tom Selleck or someone.

And so I walk into the set and I walked right into Donnie Wahlberg, and so here's a picture of that. So, he's that Detective Reagan there on Blue Bloods. And that's a Detective Baez next to him and there's Cathe. So I had a great time, and so I told him you know, one of my favorite episodes of Blue Bloods is the one on the bullet car. They had a whole episode on that, and I told him about this book and movie and that I had a book. So I gave him the book, and so he took the book and so, and then I tweeted out later, it was a pleasure to meet him and posted a photo and then he retweeted, said, "Thank. Great to meet you". And so that's very nice. So that was great. Then I was on the Fox & Friends TV show. And look at this set, they have this massive set, and the biggest screen you have ever seen. So they have our graphic on the set there, and then we were interviewed by Ainsley Earhardt, and that's her there along with Barbara McQueen, Steve's widow.

Ainsley is a very strong Christian by the way. Very upfront about her faith, and she interviewed us for five minutes, which is a long time for a television program. And I was able to even get the gospel in there, it was just fantastic. And that by the way... Yeah, it's great, isn't it? That is gonna show this coming Tuesday. So we pre-taped it. So if you want to watch it, go to Fox & Friends in the morning this coming Tuesday, it's a national show, and I'm sure that we'll get a lot of a response from that as a result. They're telling me that the ticket sales are through the roof for this film. Like you're saying... Whatever. Why are you making this film again? It's the gospel. It's always about the gospel here. You need to know that, whatever we do. And this movie does tell the story of Steve and all the things that happen to him, and it tells about his conversion. And then there's a direct gospel presentation.

So I'm going to show you a little clip now that you've not seen yet from the film. Would you like to see a little bit of this? So this is... For those of you that didn't clap, you have to leave now. You can't see it. No, you can all see it. So this just gives you a sense of where the film is going, with some footage you probably have not seen. I'll just mention that when you see these scenes in a church, that's the church where Steve came to faith. And also at the end we go to the crusade and that is how the film end. So turn your attention to the screen.

- They were in the air and they talked about God. And I think that was sort of the perfect place for Steve to be up, in the air in the clouds, feeling close to God, hearing about God, and hearing it in a non-threatening way.

- He loved it. Steve loved it. I think when you're up there your mind just has to go to places that are beautiful and spiritual. I mean, he was talking to God when he was in the sky.

- Steve kept hearing that theme of Christianity in his life and wanted to know more and was intrigued.

- He came home one day and he says, "Honey, put a dress on, we're going to church". And I'm like, "Okay". It came completely, completely out of the blue.

- After church I was standing out in the foyer, greeting people and felt somebody tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned around and he said, "Pastor, I'm Steve McQueen". And I said, "Hi, Steve". He just had a bunch of things he wanted to know about the Christian life what about the Bible, and can you really rely on it and so forth. And so after two hours, he sat back and he said, "Well, that's all of my questions". And I said, "Steve, I have one". And he grinned, he said, "You want to know if I'm born again, don't you"? And I said, "That's really what's important to me". And so then he said, "Remember the Sunday that you invited people who wanted to receive Christ? When you gave that invitation". He said, "That's when I accepted Christ".

- We're all designed with a desire for happiness. And it's so ingrained in us and so, you know, everything about us just wants to be happy. That aspect of our nature tells me that there's a place where that can happen.

- You can have as many cars as you want, you can have as many homes as you want. You can have all the money in the world, but if that doesn't satisfy you, then that doesn't make you happy, then what is it all worth?

- There's something bigger and better out there, and it better be, otherwise, you know I want out right now.

- I think every man comes to that point in life, but for him to come to Christ, I think is a huge testimony.

- He was a man's man. He embodied the American Dream. And the only time he was really truly ever happy was when he became a born again Christian.

- Chasing down the story of Steve McQueen to me has been such an amazing adventure. He was asking questions that we're still asking today. Questions like, "Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? And what will happen after I die"? You know Steve McQueen once said, "My only regret, is that I was not able to tell others about what Christ had done for me. So I brought it to over 25,000 people at Angel Stadium". The message that changed Steve's life. The message that changed my life, and the message that can change your life as well.

So there you go. Then I go on to share the gospel and actually lead people in a prayer so they can accept Christ. So this is gonna happen nationwide, so let's be in prayer for that. So, this is the last message in our discipleship series. And next Sunday we're starting a brand new series and guess what book of the Bible we're gonna study together? Nehemiah. Now some of you are saying, "Wait, wait. Nehemiah? Isn't that what the V2, virtue and valor people are gonna study"? Exactly. Our whole church is gonna go through the book of Nehemiah together, and it's gonna be great. We're all gonna learn some great lessons. I hope you all are gonna be a part of the virtue valor V2. Virtue for girls, valor for guys, V2 for the undecided. No, I'm kidding. V2 for couples. And so it's something for everyone, all ages.

One of the greatest things is a small groups so you discuss what you've learned and so I'll teach the message on Sunday morning, then we'll have a reinforcement of that message and other angles on it. You know, I think a lot of times we think when we've heard a message, "Well I know that already". But you know, we forget a lot of stuff. So, I think reinforcement is very helpful. And why Nehemiah? Well, Nehemiah is an amazing book. It's about a man who wanted to build a wall. "I'm gonna build a wall. A huge wall". No, I'm working on that. So it's not there yet. But how many of you got the reference? You got the joke? How many of you have no idea what I was doing? Never mind. Okay. So Nehemiah, yes, he built a wall, but this wall was a symbolic wall. This was the outer wall of the city of Jerusalem that was torn down in line in rubble because of the neglect of God's people. In a way, the wall was a picture of the lives of Israel.

So Nehemiah, he's just a regular kind of guy in a position of influence. When I say regular kind of guy, what I'm saying is, he was not a priest or a prophet, he's what we might call a layman. But he was a committed believer that wanted to use his position for God's glory, so he went about to rebuild the wall. He faced opposition, he got people working together, praying together, building together. What I love about Nehemiah is it's a practical book about the practical i.e., building the actual wall and praying as well. And so there's so many important lessons that we'll learn. So read ahead next Sunday morning, we're in Nehemiah. Read ahead, chapter one.

The title of my message today is, Just Do It! Ever heard that anywhere? Alright. Remember when the first cell phone came out? Everybody knew it was gonna be a game-changer. I don't think anyone knew how much. When this technology first emerged, the phones got smaller and smaller, but then Steve Jobs came along with a new paradigm. a new concept, what we now know as the iPhone. Now we have the Android phones and all the others that are like that. But basically, he introduced to us a computer in your pocket. It was far more than a phone. He introduced the app. The app did not exist prior to that, so now we have apps and we have social media, these things did not pre exist before. And this is having an interesting effect on our country and it's not good.

In fact, there's a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, her name is Jean Twenge, and she's written a book called iGen. It's a name she came up for people born between 1995 and 2012. iGen. She says, "Members of this generation are safer than those that came before them. They drink less, they learned to drive later, and they hold off having sex". So we're saying, "Well that's probably a good thing, right"? Well not so much. She says, "But psychologically they're far more vulnerable". She says, "It's not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades". And she says, "It's largely due to smartphones". She says, "Because today's teens are spending less time with friends. They have far higher rates of depression and suicide". She says, "Look at the patterns of loneliness, it suddenly begins to increase around 2012, that's when the majority of Americans got a cell phone".

Interesting trend, isn't it? And you see how people are disconnecting from real life and living in a virtual world in a digital world. Actually thinking those people on your Facebook page are really your friends. Or those people on Twitter are really your followers. And then with the phenomena of the Kardashians, where you can be famous for just being famous. That's a whole new kind of celebrity thing that is developed in a strange culture that has really created. But I think it gets down to what people really want in life. People want to be loved, people want to be needed, and people want to be appreciated. They want to feel that someone values them and cares about them. And many try to do it through digital connection. But listen, this is where the church comes in. This is what we are here to do, to give them what they're really longing for. And more to the point. This is where discipleship comes in.

Now as I said, this is my last message on the topic of discipleship. And I want to focus on what it means to disciple others. I'm going to get to the bottom line. But before I do, let's review what we have learned together. If you're taking notes, you might want to write these things down. Here's six things we learned about disciples. Number one, a disciple of Jesus loves God more than anyone or anything else. This is based on the statement of Jesus and Luke 14 when he said, "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate your father, mother, brothers, sister and your own life or you can't be my disciple". But remember I pointed out that he's not literally telling us to hate because in other passages we're told to love one another, even love our enemies. But it's a phrase that he uses to effectively say, "Your love for God should be so intense, that your love for anyone or anything else including yourself would be like hatred in comparison".

So point number one, if you're really his disciple, love God more than anyone or anything else. Number two, a disciple takes up the cross daily and follow Jesus. Jesus said, "If you want to be my disciple you must take up your cross and deny yourself and take that cross up daily. So everyday we put God first in our life and denying ourselves. Thirdly, the disciple must turn over the title deed of their life to Christ or the pink slip of their life to Christ. Because Jesus says there in John 14, "If you want to be my disciple, you must forsake all that you have". That doesn't mean you have to think about poverty. That phrase "forsake all that you have" could better be translated, "surrender your claim to".

So you recognize that your life, your resources, your family, your future, everything belongs to God. Number four, a disciple impacts their culture, because toward the end of Luke 14, Jesus says, You're the salts of the earth". And salt in that time, remember it stopped the spread of the rotting process in the meat, they'd rub it in and then also it would stimulate through, so we're there to do the same in the world. To stop the spread of evil and the speak up for our faith. And then number five, a disciple brings forth spiritual fruit. Because Jesus says, "Here's how people will know you are my disciples that you bring forth fruit". And that means results in your life. And then sixth and lastly, a disciple will carefully read study and live according to God's word. Because Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples"?

Now I want to look at what a disciple does, hence the title, Just Do It. Just Do It. You know when I first became a Christian, I really didn't fully understand what I'd done. I went forward at a little Bible study in my high school campus, as I've told you many times, and I prayed this little prayer. I didn't know what was ahead of me. I didn't know what was gonna happen to me but I believed what I heard. And not long after that, a guy comes up to me that I don't know, from Adam's house cat. Did you know Adam had a house cat? I don't know if he did or not, probably not. But, he says, "Hi, my name is Mark. And I saw that you went forward and prayed to accept Jesus the other day". I was kind of like resist. "Are you resentful"? "Yeah, so"? "No. Hey, I want to help you. I want to take you to church". I'm like, "No, it's okay. I don't want to go to church. No, no, I really want to take you to church".

And I have to tell you something about this guy Mark. Mark wasn't a cool guy. He wasn't the kind of guy would have normally hung around, but he was so doggone persistent, and he wouldn't take no for an answer, and the best way, "Let me take you to church". Finally, I said, "Okay". But he didn't just take me to church, he introduced me to other Christians. He had me over at his house for dinner with his mom and his dad. We're just kids at this point. I'm talking to Christians. I'm asking questions. No question was too ridiculous to ask. Here's what Mark was doing. He was discipling me. And if he had not done that, I fear I would have fallen through the cracks. Because a lot of times after a person accepts Christ they don't know what to do next, and so he helped me in that transition. And what Mark did for me, we need to do for others, because that's what the Great Commission is. Again, it's to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and then make disciples of all nations.

Listen, if you're following Jesus as a real disciple, you will be leading others to Christ. Let me reverse that. If you're not leading others to Christ, are you really following him as you want to as a disciple? Again, we must be salt, and salt stimulates the thirst of another person. One of the greatest compliments a non-believer can pay a believer is when they say, "What is it about you that makes you different? You have this peace, you have this joy, I'm interested". Oh, that's so great, when it opens the door for conversation. Listen, if you want to win some you need to be winsome. But we're there to build those bridges. You know sometimes you sow a seeds. Sometimes you water is seed. Sometimes you reap where others have sown and watered. Don't ever try to harvest the seed that's not ready to be harvested. But don't miss the opportunity to harvest when it's harvest time.

As the great theologian Kenny Rogers once said. You need to know when to fold them, know when to hold them, know when to walk away, right? And so the idea is, you need to pray for wisdom. This is seed sowing time. This is just being a witness. Okay, this is the time to try to close the deal. Here's your commission, again, Matthew 28:16. "Go therefore, says, Jesus, to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I've given to you, I am with you even to the end of the age". So here's our job. Here's discipleship simplified. I've told you what a disciple is, now let me tell you what a disciple does. Or what it means to make disciples of others. Our objective is to go lead others to Christ, establish them spiritually, and do it again and again and again. Basically it's wash, rinse, repeat. Evangelize, disciple, stabilize, repeat. Do it over and over again.

But somewhere along the line, we've sort of separated evangelism from discipleship, and they're one and the same. We're not just called to invite people to Christ, but then we need to take these new believers under our wing and help them get up on their feet spiritually. And be like delivering the baby in a hospital and then just giving the little baby some Pampers and say, "Okay, buddy, God bless you. "Tough world out there but good luck, goodbye, go". No, little babies need to be nurtured and loved. The new believers need to be nurtured and loved as well. I read about an interesting study conducted by a large hospital where they discovered something. They noticed that people working in the nursery around the babies, that they noticed that the babies that were near the door were healthier and stronger than the other babies, and they wondered why.

So after careful study, they noticed that the nurses were more prone to give attention to the babies near the door as they went about their duties. They would pick them up and hug them and speak to them. So they thought, this is what the children need. Just a little baby can tell when they're being loved. When they're being embraced, or when they're being cared for. And the new believers need the same thing from all of us. Here's a few things a new believer needs. Number one, they need assurance. They need assurance. They need to be reassured that God loves them and God has forgiven them, and that their name is written in the book of life.

One passage everyone should commit to memory is 1 John 5:13. Where John writes, I write these things to you that believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. Reassure a believer of that. Because remember in the Garden of Eden, Satan attacked Adam and Eve. you remember how he attacked? He said to them, "Did God say what you really thought God said"? And he'll do that in the life of a new believer, and for that matter. Older believers sometimes too, right? Are you really saved? Do you think Christ is really forgiven you? It's not based on how I feel, it's based on what God has done. New believers need assurance.

Number two, new believers need protection. They need protection. When you're holding a little baby, you have to hold them carefully and hold them in the proper way and support them and anything that could harm them, you put yourself in the way of that thing. And new believers need protection as well. Galatians 5:19, excuse me 4:19 says, "My dear children, I feel as if I'm going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your life". New believers are vulnerable to their emotions, as well as being vulnerable to false teaching. Old friends will try to drag them down. Old girlfriends and old boyfriends will materialize out of nowhere. Temptations will come that maybe they've never experienced before, right? You remember that yourself. So they need to be protected, and just as in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talked about the seed sown on the roadside eaten by the birds and he said, "These are they that hear the word of God". But Satan comes immediately and snatches it away. The new believer doesn't know what's happening, but we do, so we need to help them.

And number three, they need food. They need food. You know when a baby cries, it's usually because of two reasons. Number one, they need their diaper changed. Number two, they're hungry. By the way those are the same reasons I cried. So, Cathe always has a sandwich and some Depends nearby. No, that's a joke. It's not true, I don't wear Depends. Pastor Brad does. Sorry, Brad, I had to share it. No, it's... He does. No, he doesn't. Well, I don't know. Do you, Brad? No, he doesn't. 'Cause I've never asked you. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Brad. Wow, how do they get up from that, that's just... But as I've said before, healthy people are hungry people. So when you're a new believer, you're hungry for the Word of God.

Can you remember the first time you read the Bible as a new Christian? Now if you were raised in the church, it was familiar, but perhaps it came alive to you. But if you were more like me and you weren't raised in the church, you started hearing these things for the first time. I'm just a kid, 17 years old, and I'm reading these things in the Bible that relate to me as a 17 year old, and I still relate to them as a 40 year old with added years. And so it's relevant to you and your youth. It's relevant to you and your middle age. It's relevant to you in your old age. I have a secretary, she's not really a secretary, she's a great friend. And has been a personal assistant to me for over 30 years. Her name is Carol Faulkner. And Carol fought cancer for a while and she was able through a treatment in chemo to overcome it, but it came back, and Carol is now in hospice care. We just went to see her after the first service. And she knows she's gonna go see the Lord very soon.

I want to show you the picture of her in here. There's a Pastor Ricky Ryan, who we took over and there I'm there with her. And here's another picture with Pastor Jeff and me with Carol. Or excuse me, Pastor Jeff and Ricky. And I want you to look at Carol's face, there's a big smile. We laughed together, we smiled, we prayed. And this is what happens when you believe. You have hope and you have assurance even for the afterlife. You see? There's someone right now cruising around in a cool sports car with all the money in the world, and they're contemplating suicide. And here's a lady, who is most likely at the end of her life on this earth, and she is joyful, and looking forward to spending all eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ. That's the gospel. It's the power of the gospel. So I want you to remember current prayer that God would strengthen her and be with her in a special way.

Number four, new believers need an example. They need to see what a Christian looks like. You see some things are taught and some things are caught. Does that make sense? There's only so many things I can say from a platform teaching. They need to see a Christian, like you. They need to see how a Christian drives. They need to see what a Christian married couple looks like. They need to see what it looks like to go to church with Christians, and what you do and how you do it. They need to see what a single Christian looks like. They need to know what... Do you go to movies and what movies do you go to? Steve McQueen: American Icon, of course. But, you know, apart from that. They observe these things.

As Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:10. There is no three twen, 3:10. He says to Timothy, "You've observed my teaching, listen, my conduct, my aim in life and my faith". So it's not just my teaching, it's my conduct, it's my aim in life, it's my faith. You've seen an example. And let's be honest now. Here's one of the reasons we don't want new believers in our life. We don't want to change our behavior, see. Because if I take a new believer with me to church and we'll go to lunch after and they're with me, I can't a gossip. If I have a new believer with me, I'll probably drive the speed limit, and I'll probably talk about the message and do things that Christian ought to do already. Maybe we don't want that added pressure in our life. But we're missing out not only on helping them but on helping ourselves.

You see here's the thing, there can come a point in our life where we can actually be guilty of overeating. Let me explain. You know Thanksgiving is coming and, you know that because Halloween decorations are when Thanksgiving and Christmas and it all comes in fast motion but I like Thanksgiving, because they haven't completely commercialized that day. They call it turkey day or want to diminish it perhaps, but we sit around our tables, we have prayer, we eat a wonderful meal, and we all go into a collective coma for two hours because all that tryptophane in the turkey with just... And then we wake up and we stumble to the refrigerator and reheat some more. But you know I love Thanksgiving but the last thing I want to do after try eat a big meal is go exercise.

Here's the thing, we can be in the church and we're having the finest meals, we're studying the Bible together, and obviously I want you to do that, and we should do that as disciples. And we're worshiping together and we're learning together, and that's all great. But if I don't have an outlet for what I'm taking in, that can be really problematic. I must give out what God has given to me or I can actually reach a state of stagnation. Kind of a spiritual obesity. It's called being sedentary. You know you need exercise when your dog is fat. And maybe that's because you push him around in a stroller, and I have a word from the Lord.

I have a word from the Lord for you to push dogs and strollers. Stop. Exercise. That's not a word from the Lord, that's just me but... Fact is that the TV and fridge were not so far apart we wouldn't get any exercise. But here's the point, we need to be giving out what God has given. This is a biblical principle. Jesus says in Luke 6:38, "Give and you'll receive, your gift will return to you in full. Pressed down, shaken together, running over, and poured into your lap. And the amount you give will determine the amount you get back". I think this is an important thing, to have a new believer in your life, because they will energize you.

You know someone asked me in an interview recently. "What do you like to do in your spare time"? I don't think about that. What do I do in my spare time? I don't have a lot of spare time, but I thought well I ride my Harley, occasionally, and very occasionally at this point. I surf once in a blue moon. Usually when I'm over at Harvest Kumulani, I'll get out there, and even then I don't go out every day. So what do I do? And I thought for a moment, I thought, I know what I do in my spare time, I hang out with my grandkids. They looked at me like, "Yeah, and what else"? That's kind of it. I really like to hang around with my grandkids. Because you know what, they energize me, you see. I like to be with them.

And I don't make them enter my world. I don't sit them behind the computer and say, "Kids, study these commentaries and give me some point". No. I enter their world. I sit down and watch cartoons with them. I know all the characters names on SpongeBob SquarePants. Right? And we go get ice cream, and we go to the playground and I watch them play, and we talked together, and then we have interesting spiritual conversations too. Last night, we had a really interesting one. My granddaughter Allie was asking me about her rabbit that died. Will she see the rabbit again in heaven? And then, she wants to know she'll have a pet wolf in heaven and all these great questions. I love them though. But that energizes me. See, that's good for me and it's good for us, because some grandparents have houses where they have a lot of breakable things. Well, I don't want the grandkids over because we have breakable things.

Can I make a suggestion? Get rid of the breakable things and invite the grandkids over, okay? And if it will help, I will come over and just break those things and we'll get... Is this one of them? Yes. Okay, grandkids, come on. And in the same way, if we have a life that is not welcoming of new believers, something is wrong. They need you, but listen to this, you need them. Why? Because you will discover things you take for granted. "Oh yeah, I'm going to heaven. Oh yeah, you know, the Word of God is true. Oh yeah, Jesus is coming back. Oh yeah, yeah". Really? Because you talk about a new believer, you'd share these truths with them, and they cared for the first time and they are so excited and you rediscover it. The first time a child tries ice cream.

I remember our son Jonathan, I gave him ice cream when he was a newborn. Cathe was slightly horrified. I think she was still nursing him. "I gave him ice cream". "Why did you do that"? I said, "But he smiled". And he had a little baby... I gave him a little, you know... You know, so I... I enjoyed that. I got to see that for the first time first time. First time a child sees snow. The first time a child walks on the sand. The first time a child discovered something, and that you take for granted. He goes, ain't that wonderful? See, they need you to stabilize them, you need them to revitalize you. Because we begin to take these things for granted as I said, and don't perhaps enjoy them as much as we ought to. And new believers are the lifeblood of the church, and they're also the lifeblood of older Christians.

Some churches grow by Church transfer growth. Most of their congregants come from other churches. Harvest grows primarily from new convert growth, and that is the best kind of growth by the way. In some churches they might be more Calvinistic, or more on the reformed side, will not invite people to Christ in their services because they're afraid they're gonna call the non-elect to Christ. Because they believe these people are predestined, and they only want to see the predestined believe, and they don't want to give false assurance to the non-elect. I like what D.L. Moody said years ago, he said, "Lord, save the elect and then elect some more". But here's the way I see it. God knows who is predestined.

My job is to preach the gospel and invite people to Jesus Christ and we'll keep doing that. And I don't have time to go into all these things but among the beliefs of those who are reformed, they would believe in total depravity. Which means that you're so depraved, you're so dead in your sin, you can't respond to the gospel unless you've been predestined, I disagree. I believe God has given us a free will and an ability to choose. And that's why so many verses appeal to the free will of man. Others would believe in the reformed tradition. And I have many friends who are reformed and love them but I disagree with them on these points. They believe in irresistible grace. If God's calling you, you cannot resist 'cause you're predestined. I'm sorry, disagree. I think you can resist it and harden your heart against God because of many verses that say that.

And then others would say, "Well there's limited atonement. Christ only died for the elect". No, I don't believe that. I believe Christ died for the whole world and whosoever will believe in him can be forgiven of their sin. Those are important distinctions. Those are important distinctions. Harvest is not a reformed church. Nor are we on Arminian churches, some would say, "You're Arminians". And it takes too long to go into what all of that means, but I know some reformed people who are more passionate about evangelizing Arminians than they are about non-believers. We are not Calvinists. We are not are Arminian, we are Biblicist at Harvest. We believe in what the Bible says and we'll go according to that. So we believe in predestination, but we also believe in the free will of men. How can you believe in both? Because both are in the Bible, that's why we believe both.

And we're an evangelistic church without apology. And we want to see people that don't know the Lord come to the Lord, that's our passion. So, discipling, we're all call to do this. Nobody gets off the hook, nor should anyone want to get off the hook, because this is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. And I think sometimes the reason we don't do it, is because we're afraid of failure or we're afraid that we won't do a very good job at it. Listen, you know what a new believer needs more than anything else? They just need a friend. They don't need a Bible scholar. Hey, if you're a Bible scholar, the better, but they don't need that. They just need someone to show them what a real, living, breathing Christian looks like. And if you'll take that new believer under your wing, not only will you help them but you help yourself.

We're all called to do this but, if we're honest, a lot of us just don't. And I think we need to ask God to help us because he's commanded us to go. But what did Jesus say, "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore make disciples of all nations". Wait, I don't get it therefore. All power has been given unto me, therefore all the resources you need are given to you, so go, just do it. Enough talking about it, just do it. Go lead someone to Christ. Help get them stabilized and do it again. And if you haven't done that, find someone who's new in the faith and help them out, and get them into your small group, and bring them into your life, and help them learn what it means to be a Christian, and you watch them grow spiritually, and it will have a revitalizing effect on your life.

And I would like to have a prayer now, where all of us would ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us a passion to do this. So I want everyone to stand if you would please. Wherever you are, stand up. If you're watching on a screen, that means, you too, stand up. We're gonna pray together. I'm gonna pray for you. And I would ask that you would pray a prayer with me. Well you're asking God to empower you. The Bible says, "You will receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you to be witnesses unto me". And that's what we want to be, witnesses. We want to fulfill the Great Commission, so we need this power. So let's pray for it in our lives. Right now, let's all bow our heads.

Father I pray for everyone here and I pray that we will seek to, we'll just do this. That we'll take steps of faith and just initiate conversations and look for people new in the faith, and do everything we cans to help them, not only for their sake but for ours. So we don't reach spiritual stagnation. So we don't find ourselves going backwards instead of forward. But Lord we can't do this on our own. We need help and we need power. And you've promised us power to be a witness and we're gonna ask for it right now. Now everyone I'm gonna just lead you in a prayer, and I'd ask you to just pray this prayer out loud after me. Again as I pray, just pray this. Lord Jesus, you've called me to go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples but I've not always done this, Lord, but I want to. So I need the power you offer. So fill me with the Holy Spirit, give me a holy boldness like I've never known before. Give me a burden for lost people. Give me a heart for those that are new in the faith. Help me to make disciples. Father, you've heard that prayer and now we all pray that you will seal it with your power and even today we'll just sense you're leading and look for those opportunities, they're everywhere. And what a joy, what a privilege it is to see people grow in the faith. The next thing to see them come to Christ as seeing them grow in their faith, they become spiritually mature. Lord, you've called us to do this. Help us to start doing it and we commit ourselves to you, and we ask all of this in Jesus' name.

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