For many individuals, coming to faith in Christ isn’t just a means of having your soul saved from the wrath of God that we’ve all earned with our sin, but it’s also a means of having your physical life rescued from destruction as well.
This is the story of well-known pastor Greg Laurie, the founder of Harvest Crusade and Harvest America, as well as the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.
Before he became a believer in Jesus Christ he lived a life characterized by an absence of faith, drug use, and as he states, a generally moving in the “wrong direction.”
Laurie is the author of the new book “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today,” and recently made an appearance on PureFlix.Com’s “Pure Talk” to discuss his journey of faith and his mission to reach young people with the gospel of Christ.
“I was a 17 year old kid. I was using drugs every single day. I was going in the wrong direction in my life,” he said, noting that he stumbled upon a Bible study one day on the lawn of his high school, and it changed everything. “I sat down close enough to eavesdrop on what was being said.”
That’s when Laurie heard someone proclaim a truth that stuck with him: “Jesus said, ‘You’re for me, or against me.’” The statement struck him and he wondered, “Am I against Jesus?” He was so moved that he decided to embrace Christ that very day.
Decades later, and he’s now personally led thousands of people to Christ, preaching to young people and adults, alike.
“Let’s not sacrifice the gospel for coolness … what this generation needs is not more cool stuff, they need Jesus Christ,” Laurie said. “They need to know what the Bible says and they need it in a way that they can understand it.”
Speaking of the importance of reaching people with the gospel, Laurie said that Christians need to “build bridges,” but that the most important act is to explain the meaning of the gospel.
“Ultimately, we need to tell them who Jesus is, that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose again from the dead and Jesus can come in their life,” he said. “And then ask them, ‘Would you like Jesus to come into your life right now?’”
Laurie goes on to note that during the 1960s and 1970s, the country was shredded to tatters by the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, the breakdown of the family unit, and much more, yet that didn’t stop the gospel from spreading. In fact, it only allowed the light of the gospel to shine all the more brightly.
But despite that reality, Laurie believes God shone through at the right moment in the Jesus movement, and that a similar revolution can take form again today.
“Our country was born in revival and we need another spiritual revival in America,” he said. “God can do it again, and we pray that He will.”
If you would like to see more material from Pastor Greg Laurie, you can view his 21-episode television series here.
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On What Seemed Like Another Ordinary Route, This Mailman Became A Hero
The Bible tells us that God orders our steps. Anyone who still believes in coincidences just hasn’t encountered God’s miraculous hand in their lives.
For one mail carrier in North Carolina, what seemed like a delay in his route turned into God’s perfect timing.
Chris Petersen, who has served in the Postal Service for 32 years, was rushing to finish his Christmas Eve mail route in Cary, a town about 10 miles west of Raleigh.
Just moments after delivering a few parcels to a neighboring home, Petersen shared with Fox News that he heard shouting coming from another house on the street.
The shouting came from Pam Hodgin, who was crying out for help after her husband, Mike, had collapsed in their home.
Petersen and two other neighbors sprang into action, running into the Hodgins’ home to assess the situation.
Mike was sprawled out on the kitchen floor, unconscious and not breathing. While fear of losing her precious husband began to grip Pam, Petersen immediately began performing CPR.
After about two minutes of Petersen administering the life-saving procedure, Mike gasped for breath and opened his eyes wide.
Emergency responders were soon at the scene, and it was determined that Mike had suffered from a sudden heart attack. If his wife hadn’t called for help at that very moment and if Petersen hadn’t been running late on his route, the Hodgins’ family holiday might have been a much darker time.
“My mother-in-law always says that everything happens for a reason,” Petersen shared with Fox News. “I was running late that day because I was meant to be there to help Mike. I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome.”
“Chris is my hero,” Mike told Fox News, “and it is because of him I’m alive today to watch my grandsons grow and enjoy each new day.”
Praise God for his perfect timing! Never forget, God orders the steps of his children. The next time you find yourself running late, watch out, it might just be God setting you up to be a blessing in someone else’s life.
The Incredible Way These Christian Students Are Bringing the Gospel to the Hearing Impaired
When we think of how to reach all different people with the Gospel, what kind of “different” do we have in mind? People in other towns? Other countries? Maybe people in prison? What about different abilities?
Communication between deaf and hearing people is an often overlooked language barrier, but if we’re to spread the Gospel to every creature, this barrier must be overcome.
The Passion Conference was founded in 1995 by Louie Giglio, and seeks to “glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation,” according to their website.
“Since 2007, believing worship + justice are two sides of the same coin,” the Passion website continues, “students at Passion have generously given over $18 million to 70 amazing partner organizations around the world.”
Passion, it declares, is more than just music, teaching, and preaching. It’s a movement for Christ.
“In the last week, people have gathered for football games and holiday celebrations,” Passion’s global ambassador Brad Jones said in a statement to Fox News. “During Passion 2019, 40,000 college students and leaders gathered under one name—the name of Jesus. Passion is more than an event; we exist to see this generation live for what matters most—for us, that’s the fame of Jesus.”
Previous conferences have raised millions of dollars for incredibly worthy ministries and initiatives. This year, Passion set its sights on a new target: the language barrier that prevents deaf people from receiving the Gospel in their own sign language.
If you’re unfamiliar with this issue—don’t worry, many people are—you might ask why deaf people can’t just read the Bible?
According to the Deaf Bible Society, “as many as 80 percent of Deaf children in some countries never receive access to formal education.” It’s not so simple, especially if a deaf child or adult has never been taught to read in their language.
This means that over 70 million souls worldwide who are never taught to read aren’t hearing the Gospel because, well, they can’t hear.
With over 400 different sign languages in the world, missionaries who seek to reach deaf people with God’s saving truth certainly have their work cut out for them.
So, at the 2019 Passion conference, those thousands of young people gathered to praise and worship the Lord, and then get to doing His work in the world. They raised a stunning $448,370 for the Deaf Bible Society as part of Hope in Every Language, a campaign that, according to Fox News, “helps fund and distributes translations of the stories of Jesus into the unique sign language to areas that haven’t been reached.”
Because of the Passion attendees’ tremendous giving, the New Testament gospels will be translated into the unique sign languages of Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Moldova, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Russia.
Praise God for this incredible work in removing yet another barrier to the Gospel! Pray that the people reached would, at least figuratively, have ears to hear His truth.
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