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Greg Laurie - You Reap What You Sow

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We're in Esther chapter 5 and the title of the message is You Reap What You Sow. Esther chapter 5. You Reap What You Sow. My wife came home from the market a while back and she asked me to unload the car. I don't know about you but I'm one of those guys that wants to get as many bags on my arms as humanly possible. I don't want to make multiple trips. So I've got all these bags in my arms and I'm carrying them in, many bags and many groceries in these bags, bread and canned goods and some vegetables and some eggs and I dropped one bag. Which bag did I drop? Eggs. Of course. Why? Why of all those bags did I drop the bag of eggs? Because there is a law of the universe. It's called Murphy's Law, heard of it? Murphy's Law is if anything can go wrong, it will and usually at the most inopportune moments.

Well, we sort of joke. It's not a real law but there are real laws that govern our universe. There's a law of gravity, which basically discovered by Newton that says things tend to go downward or a simpler way to put it, what goes up must come down. There's a law of thermodynamics that tells us all things are breaking down. Or another way to put it, you will have aged a lot more before the end of this service. And finally, there's a law of sowing and reaping and that one is in the Bible, Galatians 6:7-8. And just as surely as there is a law of gravity and a law of thermodynamics, you'd better bet there's a law of sowing and reaping. Here's what the Bible says. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. If he sows of the flesh, he'll reap corruption, but if sows of the spirit, he'll reap life everlasting. Now we tend to think of the law of sowing and reaping in a negative sense.

Oh man, if you do that, watch out. You'll reap what you sow. And that's true. But the law of sowing and reaping is both positive and negative. Again, if you sow to the flesh, you'll reap corruption or deadness, that's negative. But if you sow to the spirit, you'll reap life everlasting. Now we see that played out in the story before us. Haman, the villain in our story reaped what he sowed and he reaped corruption. But then Esther and her cousin Mordecai reaped life everlasting. Let's see how it played out. Let's sort of pick up where we last left off, and by the way, if you haven't been a part of this Esther series, here's sort of a fly over of what we've seen so far. King Xerxes is ruling Persia. He decides to throw a giant feast, so he invites all of his lords and leaders and government officials into town, and by the way, this feast, this party lasted for six months. The king provided all the food, all the wine, everything, and I think he was sort of buttering them up for an invasion he was gonna mount against Greece on the heels of this feast, which did not go all that well.

And so the king is sorta showing all of his cool stuff. Guys tend to do that, don't they? They want to show you all their cool stuff. And so he's bringing out all the things he owns and his beautiful palace and all the goblets and things that the wine is served in. But now he's gonna bring out his crown jewel, the beautiful Queen Vashti. So he gives the order. Bring Queen Vashti in and tell her to come in wearing her crown. I want her to parade right through here and I want all those guys to see what an awesome wife I have. Well Vashti wanted no part of it. Now we don't know exactly why. Some commentators think that when the text says, bring her in wearing her crown, that King Xerxes meant only her crown. Obviously she wouldn't like that idea. But even if that wasn't it, the idea was he was sort of objectifying his wife, treating her more like a possession than the wife she was, so she flat out refuses and it's a scandal in the kingdom. The king's aides say, you cannot let Vashti act that way because if she gets away with this, none of our wives will ever do what we tell them to do again. You gotta get rid of her.

So Vashti is out. And now they effectively have a beauty contest, the Miss Persia beauty contest, if you will, and the winner will become the next queen of the kingdom. So all of these girls apply and one girl kinda makes her way to the top. She was a young girl, an orphan. Her parents had died. She'd been raised by her uncle Mordecai, which he was about 15 years older than her. Her name was Hadassah. We know her better as Esther and she had extraordinary beauty. The king laid his eyes on her and he chose her and she became the queen of the kingdom. If this was a fairy tale, it would have ended right there with the words, And they lived happily ever after. But this is not a fairy tale. This is a Bible story and it's a piece of history as well. Enter the villain of the story, Haman, who hatches a plot to exterminate Mordecai and the Jews.

Now this was a blood feud that went back a long ways because the Bible tells us that Haman was an Agagite. That doesn't mean a lot to us. Try even saying that word. Say it with me, Agagite. Don't ever name your child Agagite. Or Agag. That meant he was a descendant of King Agag, who was an avowed enemy of Israel, and the Lord directed King Saul to destroy King Agag and Saul disobeyed and so now here's one of his blood descendants who hates the Jewish people and here's Mordecai also a blood descendant, a Jewish man.

So Haman was elevated to be the second most powerful man in the kingdom. He's the prime minister. He comes walking by and the order is given, everyone bows when Haman comes by. Mordecai won't bow and that just ticked Haman off. And he wanted to kill Mordecai and then he decided he was gonna kill the people of Mordecai so he goes to the king and gets the king to agree to sign a decree that all the Jewish people across the entire kingdom of Persia will be put to death. And they posted these signs. In one year, you will all die. It's very similar to what happened later in Germany. Remember when the Nazi party came into power, the way they treated the Jewish people. They would go to their shops and stores and they would have to put a star of David there identifying themselves as Jews. And then they began to destroy the stores and the property of the Jews and then the Jews are wearing little yellow arm bands to identify themselves and soon the Nazis were shipping the Jewish people off to concentration camps like Treblinka and Auschwitz and others. So it's a similar thing. I'm gonna have you all wiped off the face of the earth.

Well, Mordecai found out about this and there's only one person who can help. It's Esther, who's a Jew and she's there in the palace. Maybe she can influence the king. So he stands outside the palace, dressed in sackcloth and ashes, mourning this horrible thing. Esther didn't even know about it and Esther heard about her cousin out there, not dressed very well. She said, here, send him some new clothes. Talk about missing the point. Girl, I'm trying to communicate something to you. Your people are in trouble and you're living in the lap of luxury up there in the palace. You don't even know what's going on. And then Mordecai says to Esther in Esther 4, and this is a signature passage from the book. Don't think for a moment you will escape there in the palace because of the other Jews are killed and you keep quiet, deliverance will arise from the Jews from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. But who knows that God has not placed you where you are for such a time as this.

Now interestingly, Esther had not revealed to the king she was a Jew up to this point, because Mordecai told her not to. Now he's saying, it's time to play your hand. It's time to declare yourself a Jew. It's time to appeal for your people. And so Esther says to the king, or excuse me, to Mordecai. Okay, I'm gonna go to the king. By the way, if you go to the king when you're not summoned, you might be put to death, but I will go to the king. I will put it all on the line. And she says there in Esther chapter 4, I want you to be fasting for me and I want you to be praying for me and I will die if I have to die. If I must die, I will die. So she says, be in prayer for me effectively. She says fasting, but it's really another way of saying be praying for me. So now Esther is showing her true colors. I mean, without question, she was extraordinarily beautiful, drop dead gorgeous beautiful, but she had inner qualities to match. And that character was about to be revealed. It's been said character is not made in crisis, it's only exhibited. Now the true character of Esther is going to shine, but she's waiting for the right time and the right place with the right words to appeal to the king.

So our story begins in Esther chapter 5, verse 1, let's read together. Three days later, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king's hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne facing the entrance, and when he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner count, he welcomed her, holding out the gold scepter to her. So, Esther approached and touches its tip. Then the king asked her, What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? I'll give it to you, up to half of the kingdom. She said, well, if it pleases your majesty, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet I've prepared for the king. So the king turned to his attendants and said, tell Haman to come quickly to a banquet as Esther has requested. So the king and Haman went to Esther's banquet and they're drinking wine and the king said to Esther, tell me what you really want. What is your request? I'll give it to you, even up to half of my kingdom. Esther replied, this is my request and deepest wish. If your majesty is pleased with me and wants to grant my request, come back with Haman tomorrow. I'll stop there.

Now this is amazing. Seems like she would have just closed the deal right there. You know, outed Haman and his plot, revealed that she was a Jewish girl and this was an attack against her and her people, but she's waiting. She's waiting for the right time. Do you know timing is everything? Because a lot of times we're impatient. Are you an impatient person? I can be. The other day we had our grandkids and they were going to school and they had eaten something but my granddaughter Allie was still hungry and my wife Cathe said, can you make Allie some eggs? I said, sure. I kinda proud myself on my scrambled eggs and so Cathe sets the heat really low. She says that's the key to cooking scrambled eggs, so they're fluffy. Well, the heat was low and I poured the eggs in the little pan and nothing's happening and the kid's gotta go to school so I crank up the heat and now they're finally forming and I put them on a plate and I realize they're a little on the rubbery side and Allie took one bite and she said, I'm not hungry anymore, so. That was her nice way of saying, Papa, your eggs are horrible.

But see, I didn't do it right. I was too impatient. And we can do that in life. Well, I don't want to wait for this person to believe. I'm gonna pressure them to believe. I don't want to wait for this to happen. I'm gonna make it happen. I'm gonna take things into my own hands. But we need to understand there's a time for every event under heaven, the Bible says. A time to be silent and a time to speak. And you know, we all may have a king in our life, and by that I mean there's some person like the king that maybe intimidates us. They might be an authority over us, it might be a boss, it might be a professor, it might be a wife trying to reach an unsaved husband, it might be that person that seems to have it so together, so above you, so tough you think they would never listen to the gospel. Listen to this, no one is beyond the reach of God. Everybody needs Jesus, everybody, I don't care how they look on the outside.

When I wrote this book on Steve McQueen and we did the documentary film, when I discovered his story, it fascinated me because here is a guy at the top of his game, the number one movie star in the world. He has it all and he's on a surge and he's just waiting for somebody to give him the answer and someone finally did and it resulted in Steve coming to Christ. And think of someone right now. You think, oh they would never listen to me. They would never be open to the gospel. How do you know that? Why don't you start praying for them? Think of young Stephen as he stood before the Jewish Sanhedrin which was sort of like Supreme Court of the day. He had been charged with preaching the gospel and he stood before these gentlemen and he began to share his faith and their anger began to grow and they were so mad at him and they finally gave the decree that he should be put to death and he prayed for them. As he dying, he said, Lord, don't lay this sin against their charge.

He was the first martyr of the early church. But among those men in that Jewish Sanhedrin was a notorious Saul of Tarsus and right on the heels of this event, Saul of Tarsus began to hunt down, arrest and prosecute Christians, men, women and children. Well you know the rest of this story. Saul of Tarsus ended up meeting Jesus on the Damascus Road. He was converted and he became the Apostle Paul. But I suggest to you that seed was initially sown in Saul's heart by young Stephen, who did not back down from his faith, 'cause he thought, God could reach that guy. Maybe he even prayed for Saul. So now the moment is come and Esther can approach the king. It says verse 3, the king says, What do you want, Queen Esther? What's your request? I'll give it to you, up to half of my kingdom. That's a good day when the king offers that, by the way. So she's been wanting on the Lord and she says, Well, if it please your majesty, Esther 5:3, let the king and Haman come to a banquet today that I prepared for the king.

Now, Haman is so excited. He's thinking, everything's going my way. All of my scheming, my plotting, my undermining is finally coming to fruition. The queen has invited me to a banquet with the king. Verse 9, what a happy man Haman was as he left the banquet. He thinks, everything's going my way. I'm gonna wipe out the Jews. I'm powerful, oh it's awesome. But as he's on his way home, he walks by Mordecai and once again, Mordecai will not bow before him and it just ticks him off. He goes home to his really really creepy wife, that was as bad as him. Her name is Zeresh. And he says, that Mordecai is driving me insane. He won't bow down before me. I want to kill him really soon. She says, why don't you build a gallows, maybe 75 feet high and he could be hung publicly for his rebellion. He says, Wife, that is a great idea. So he brings in the building crew and they're working through the night. He can't wait to complete the gallows so he can hang Mordecai high for his transgression.

So as you look at this story, you're going, man, things don't seem to be going well. I mean, there's this horrible threat against the Jews. Haman's in power. The king isn't doing anything about it, but God is always on the move. And as I said earlier, as we began this study, though the name of God is never mentioned specifically in the book of Esther, the hand of God is evident in every single page. And the Lord was working through events now, as we're gonna see how everything came together and there was a lot of reaping what had been sown. So now going back a little bit in the book, there was a threat against the king. Two of his bodyguards wanted to kill him. This became known to Mordecai, who was knave to the king. He told the king, the plot was foiled, the bodyguards were executed, but Mordecai was never rewarded for this wonderful act of sacrifice. So one night, the king can't get to sleep. We've all had nights like that, and so you try counting sheep or drinking warm milk and sometimes reading will help put you to sleep.

So the king had something read to him. When you're the king, you have people read to you. And he says, pull out that book, the history of the Persian empire. Just start reading. So they're reading to him and they come across the story of the averted plot against his life. He goes wait wait, go back over that again. What happened? Yeah, I remember that. Who was the guy who helped me there? That was Mordecai. Was he ever rewarded for that? No King, he wasn't. Really, well we need to right that wrong. And this just reminds us that there are times in our lives where we did something for someone else and we weren't recognized. But the Bible says, your Father who sees you in secret will reward you openly. Listen, you will be rewarded for every act of kindness and every word of testimony you've given for the Lord over your life. Hebrews 6:10 says, God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help Him. So, listen, God does not forget. And so now, Mordecai's gonna be rewarded. And here's what the story just, I love it. It's classic.

So the next morning, Haman shows up at the palace. He's so excited to tell the king about the gallows he's gonna hang Mordecai on. And so he's just waiting for the king to wake up. King wakes up. All right, listen, we gotta do something about this guy that saved my life. Who's out in the count right now? Haman is. Okay, bring him in here. So Haman is brought into the presence of the king. King says, oh Haman, I have a question for you. What should I do if I really want to honor someone? If I really want to show them how much I appreciate what they've done, what is the best thing that I could do? Haman was so narcissistic and wicked, he thought the king was talking about him and he says, well, if I were in your shoes, what I would do is I would put him on your royal steed, I would put royal robes on him and I would have him led through the kingdom. This is what happens to the man that the king wants to honor.

The king says, Excellent idea. Do that for Mordecai, cai, cai, cai, cai, cai. What? Not for me? No, Mordecai. Oh. He can't, this is like he's dying inside. So he, Mordecai, get on the horse. Put on the robes, let's go. He's walking through the kingdom. This is what will be done for the man that the king wants to honor. Mordecai is sitting up there, all right, very nice. And Haman is burning up inside. Haman is so dejected, he goes home, hoping for some encouragement from his wife. Esther 6:13, when Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends what had happened, they said, wow, since Mordecai, this man has humiliated you as a Jew, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue to oppose him. Let's paraphrase. Buddy, you're dead meat. Nice to have known you, goodbye. Haman could have repented, I suppose, of this plot. Don't stay with this plan. But he still wanted to see it through. He still wanted to hang Mordecai and he still wanted to kill the Jews. And while he's still talking to his wife, in come the representatives of the king and they say, it's time for the feast in the palace.

So he's in the palace. Now, I debated if I should just paraphrase this and tell it to you but I'm gonna have you read it with me 'cause this is one of the most powerful narratives in the Bible. Did you all bring your Bibles today? You have your Bibles? Okay, grab your Bible. Look at it, Esther 6:14. We're gonna read a bunch of verses. You're gonna love this. I'm reading from the New Living Translation. While they were still talking, the king's eunuchs arrived to take Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared. So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther's banquet. And they were drinking wine that day, and the king asked her, Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I'll give it to you, even up to half of my kingdom. And so Queen Esther replied, If your majesty is pleased with me, and wants to grant my request, my petition is that my life and the lives of my people will be spared.

Okay, so Esther's been waiting for the right moment, and now she's going for it. Verse 7, For my people, says Esther, have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, I would have remained quiet, for that would have been a matter too trivial a warrant disturbing the king. Excuse me. Who would dare do such a thing? King Xerxes demands. Who would dare touch you? I love verse 6. Esther replied, This wicked Haman is our enemy. Imagine this scene. There's Haman sitting there like, oh no. She's Jewish? Look at what it says next.

Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen. All the blood left. It's just, this is not good. The king jumped up to his feet in a rage and went out into the palace garden. But Haman stayed behind to plead for his life with Queen Esther, for he knew he was doomed. In despair he fell on the couch where Queen Esther was reclining, and just as the king returned from the palace garden, he said, Oh, are you gonna assault the queen right here in the palace, before my very eyes? The king roared. And as soon as the king spoke, his attendants covered Haman's face, signaling his doom. Then Harbona, one of the king's eunuchs, said, Hey King, Haman has set up a gallows that stands 75 tall in his own courtyard. He wanted to hang Mordecai on it, the guy that saved you from assassination. Yeah, that's right. The king says, Hang Haman on it. So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had set up for Mordecai, and the king's anger was pacified. And on that same day, King Xerxes gave the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. We'll stop there.

Talk about poetic justice. All right, so, what do we learn from this story? Number one, God is always present and at work in our lives, as Christians whether we feel Him or not. God is always present and at work in our lives as Christians whether we feel Him or not. He was at work in the life of Esther, He was at work in the life of Mordecai, He was at work in the lives of the Jewish people. And we see how God worked through such ordinary human events, insomnia, the reading of a book, the anger of a man, and the timing of events. So I don't know what you're facing right now, but God's at work. I don't see Him, He's at work. I don't feel Him, He's at work. He's working behind the scenes. He promises to work all things together for good to those that love God and are the called according to His purpose. Number two, God can take impossible situations and turn them around for His glory. God can take impossible situations and turn them around for His glory.

Are you facing an impossible situation? Is the deck stacked against you? Have you been given no hope? Listen to this, God can change that as Gabriel the angel said to Mary, who would be the mother of Jesus, with God, all things are possible. And this looked like an impossible situation for sure, but the Lord intervened. And point number three, you will reap what you sow. As again, I want to emphasize, that can be positive or negative. For Haman, he reaped what he sowed. His treachery, his deceitfulness, his envy, his hatred all came back. He hung on his own gallows but Mordecai's faithfulness, his honesty, his integrity, also the honesty and passion of Esther willing to lay her own life, that was rewarded as well. And you know, as life goes by, you realize that it's a good decision to obey God. Now some of you are young and let me say something to you. And hear what I'm saying. And I guarantee what I'm telling you is true. And if it isn't, you can come to me later and I'll give you your money back. But this didn't cost you anything.

Here's my advice to you. Do what God tells you to do in life. Follow the Word of God. There'll be times it's not hard. There'll be times, well, there'll be times it's not hard, there'll be times when it is hard. There'll be times when it's very difficult to make that stand for Christ, very hard for you to hold your ground. Do what is right before God. I know there are people in life that seem to get ahead, they cut corners, they tell lies, they're dishonest, they get the promotion, they get the attention, you labor away faithfully, quietly and no one notices you. It's all gonna come out in the wash because everyone is gonna reap what they sow. Just know it's true. As you look back in your life, you'll find some who pursued fun where you pursued faith. Some pursued parties and you pursued prayer. Some pursued sexual pleasure, you pursued sexual purity. Some pursued this world, you pursued the next. And while others reap corruption or deadness, you're reaping life, and while others feel used, you feel new, you see? So sow to the spirit. Put God first and all things, every day from the moment you get up to the time you go to bed, you either sow to the spirit or you sow to the flesh.

So you get up in the morning, you can go ahead and check out how many followers you have on Instagram or how many friends you have on Facebook. By the way, they're not your friends. And you can be obsessed with things that are secondary or you can say, I'm gonna dedicate this morning to first things first, opening the Word of God and letting God speak to me through this scripture. And then you make decisions through the day, what you're gonna listen to, what you're gonna do, who you're gonna hang around with, who's gonna influence you, who you're going to influence, and you'll find that you'll reap what you sow. It comes down to this. Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. It starts with a thought. What you let into your mind, what you contemplate, what you ponder, fill your mind with the things of God. Sow to the spirit, you will not regret it.

I was reading a news site yesterday about a man from Malaysia known as the snake whisperer. Did you read this article? He has great skills in handling venomous snakes, specifically cobras. He was featured on a TV program, Asia's Got Talent. He was a firefighter. He was even training other firefighters on how to handle venomous snakes. He would have these snakes, he would get them to do what he wanted them to do and they wouldn't bite him. He was a snake whisperer. And one day, he was working with one of his snakes and it bit him and he died. Moral of the story, don't mess around with poisonous snakes. Seriously. What do you think you're the sin whisperer now? Oh I can handle this. I know this has been the downfall of many, but it will never be my downfall. I can control this vice. I can keep a handle on this issue and one day, it gets control of your life. I'm sorry, you're not the exception. Don't play with sin or sin will play around with you.

One last thought, which is a preacher's way of saying I'm going 20 more minutes. No, I'm not. Esther was willing to lay her life down for her people. She said to Mordecai, okay, I'm gonna go to the king. And if I die, I die. But I'll die trying. I'll do what I can. Well she didn't have to die, did she? She lived many more years and because of her sacrificial act, saved the lives of many. Well, in the same way Jesus was willing to lay His life down and He did die. He had to die, because there was no other way to make us right with God.

I went to the market the other day, second market story in one message. And as I was coming out, I was with my granddaughter Allie and there were these two sweet little old ladies sitting there. They must have been in their mid 90's and one of them said, hello, hello Greg. I'm trying to do their accent, I'm sorry. I said, oh hi. Yes yes, we watch you on television. I said, well, thank you. That's great. Yes yes, God bless you, God bless you. I said, well God bless you. So I walked over to them, tell me your name and they, one of them was named Maria. And so we're chatting, these two sweet little old ladies. We pray for you. Thank you so much for praying for me. There's another elderly woman standing there on a walker and then the two sisters from Romania said, Greg, pray for her. She doesn't believe in God. And I look over at this lady. She's like, what? What's happening? So I said, so she's, the lady said, I didn't say I didn't believe in God. I'm just not sure. I said, so you don't believe in God? Well, I didn't say that but it's hard to believe in God. I say, tell me why. She said, there's just so much suffering in the world.

I said, it's really true. A lot of suffering, lot of horrible things happen. That's because of sin. Well, why did God let that even happen? Why doesn't God just get control of all of it? Why would all these horrible things have to happen? Well, because God gave us a free will, you see. We can make a choice. Oh, I've heard that before. You know, I have children and I tell them what to do, I tell them what right and wrong are, and they should do what I tell them. Why doesn't God do that for us? Actually He does. It's called the Bible and He gives us absolutes for life, but unfortunately we don't always do what He wants us to do. She said, well, it just doesn't seem fair. I said, well listen, God loves you. You think God loves me? She says to me. I said I know God loves you. He loved you so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you. Well, that seems very mean on the part of God to let Jesus suffer like that. I said, ma'am, it's because He loves you and Jesus paid the price for your sin.

It was hard for her to get that and she said, I'm a good person. I said, you've sinned, I've sinned, we're all sinners and we all need Jesus. So we talked about it for a little while. So as we left, I said to my granddaughter, let's pray for her. We did. And then I should give her a Bible or something to read. So I thought I got a Bible in my door. I didn't, I only had were Steve McQueen books, books I wrote, you know. I didn't really want to give her that book but I went back and I said, well, here is just a book I wrote. Why don't you read it? She said, well, do you think it will convert me? I said, well ma'am, it may help a little bit. I'll pray for you. And I invited her to church too, so pray for that lady. I didn't catch her name, but listen, here's the thing. A lot of people say this. Well, this just doesn't seem fair. Yeah, but that's why Jesus died. And now we're gonna celebrate that in a short period of time. He died on the cross and took the judgment that should have come upon you upon Himself.

Why is this important? Because listen to me, you're gonna reap what you sow. See, if you believe in Jesus and ask Him to forgive you, every sin you have ever committed throughout your entire life, and there's a lot of them by the way, will be forgiven, erased and removed instantly. But if you do not ask Jesus to forgive you, every sin you've committed in your life will come back to haunt you and you'll face the full repercussions of them. That's pretty scary. You don't want to do that and you don't have to do that, but if you reject God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, friend, you have sealed your own fate. Don't blame God for anything. It'll be on you. He has this great offer. The Bible calls it the unspeakable gift or it's also translated the indescribable gift. It's so awesome, it's so amazing. It's so free. And all you have to do is reach out and say, oh Lord, forgive me.

So we're gonna close in prayer now and I'd like to extend an invitation to anybody here or anybody watching wherever you may be. If you're not sure if your sin is forgiven, if it kinda freaks you out a little bit when you think about reaping what you'll sow, I strongly urge you to believe in Jesus. He died for you, He rose again from the dead and He's here with us right now, standing at the door of your life and knocking. And He is saying, if you'll hear His voice and open the door, He will come in. This can be the moment where your life changes. You've made a lot of bad decisions, you've done a lot of stupid things, you have a lot of regrets. You can't change that, you can't change your past but you can be forgiven of your past because of the sacrifice of Jesus, He will do that for you, if you will ask Him to. The Bible says if we will confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As we pray now, I'll encourage you to say yes, Lord, I'm sorry, I'm a sinner, forgive me. Come into my life, and He'll do that for you today. Let's all bow our heads.

Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus. And Lord Jesus, thank You for coming and laying Your life down for us, and now I pray for any person here or any person listening or watching, wherever they might be, help them to see their need for You. Help them to come to You, help them to believe in You now we ask, in Jesus' name.

Now when our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together, how many of you would say today, Greg, pray for me? I need Jesus. I need my sin forgiven. I want a fresh start in life. I've done things I regret but I'm asking God to forgive me today. I'm ready to open my heart to Jesus and begin a relationship with Him. Pray for me now. If that's your desire, if you want Jesus 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 wherever you are and I'll pray for you right now. Just raise your hand up, saying yes, I need Jesus Christ. God bless you.

Lift up your hand up higher where I can see it, please. God bless you, God bless you, anybody else? Raise your hand up high. God bless you and you and you and you. All over hands are going up. I hope yours is one of them. If you need to take this little step, this could be your last opportunity to do this. Don't let it slip by. Anybody else? You need Christ in your life. Let me pray for you today. You want your sin forgiven, God bless you and those of you watching the screen, some of you have raised your hand as well. I'm gonna lead you in this simple little prayer and I would ask that you would pray this prayer after me. You can even pray it out loud. Wherever you are, just pray with prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner but I know You're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin. I'm sorry for that sin, Lord. I turn from it now and I choose to follow You from this moment forward as Savior and Lord, as God and friend. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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