Before Pastor Greg Laurie became a Christian, he was told that drugs would open his mind and make him more aware of himself. Turns out, this was true. Drugs made him more aware of how empty he was inside.
In his book Signs of the Times: What the Bible Says About the Rapture, Anti-Christ, Armageddon, Heaven and Hell (Charisma House, 2018), Laurie writes on angels, demons, Armageddon, the Antichrist and end-times theology to point to one truth on which all Christians can agree: We need Jesus more than anything else in this world.
With Jesus' Second Coming on the horizon, Laurie exhorts readers to seek the meaning of life in Jesus. Not prosperity, not relationships, not drugs—for Christians who have idolized these things, Laurie calls them to get right with God before it's too late.
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Laurie urges readers to deal with sin in their lives.
"The Bible doesn't teach that the answer is within. The Bible teaches that the problem is within. It's our heart," Laurie writes in his article 'The Day I Found Meaning in Life.'
He challenges readers to stop rationalizing and to start addressing the secret sin in their lives. This can mean confessing your sins, both to God and to a fellow believer. More importantly, it means to uproot the sin before it spreads and disrupts your relationship with God.
In Signs of the Times, Laurie expounds on not the sinfulness of deception but the deceptiveness of sin. As we see in the story of the fall, one deep-rooted sin struggle can start with having a little wiggle room for compromise.
"Satan doesn't walk up to you and say, 'Hey you, I have a plan for your life, and I want you to consider it for a moment. I am thinking you ought to ... well, let's see ... be unfaithful to your wife. Or how about multiple affairs? Eventually, after trying to make the marriage work, your wife will give up and leave you. That's when you'll start drinking and become a full-blown alcoholic. Or maybe a drug addict—whatever you prefer. And then you can be estranged from her, from your children, ruin your life, slip into despair and then maybe one day blow your brains out. So that's my plan. What do you say?'" Laurie writes.
Instead, Laurie expounds on how the enemy is smarter than that. Satan sneaks in through the back door—sometimes to the church. Laurie includes false teachers as a sign of the end times, drawing on Scripture that warns of "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" who may have "a form of godliness" but actually deny its power (2 Tim. 3:4-5).
Christians are responsible for protecting the church from these imposters. This means protecting the Bible from being misconstrued when under social and political pressures.
"We do not seek to conform and accommodate the unchanging truths of Scripture to our changing culture," Laurie says, "but rather seek to change our culture to conform to what the Bible teaches."
Compromise is Satan's most effective weapon. A sin habit can start with one bite of a forbidden fruit. And when Jesus could return any day now, one sin habit can have irreversible consequences. Laurie urges Christians to seek holiness every day of their life.
"The more we grow spiritually," he says, "the more we will realize that we need to grow spiritually."
This article is based on Signs of the Times: What the Bible Says About the Rapture, Anti-Christ, Armageddon, Heaven and Hell (Charisma House, 2018) by Greg Laurie. Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has campuses in California and Hawaii. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then God has transformed that small group into a church of some 15,000 people, making it one of the largest churches in America. In 1990 Laurie began holding international evangelistic events called Harvest Crusades. In 2012 he launched Harvest America, a live-streamed event with an unprecedented 306,000 Americans in attendance. Laurie is also the featured speaker of Harvest Ministries' nationally syndicated radio program, A New Beginning; host of the TV program Harvest: Greg Laurie; and author of more than 70 books. He and his wife, Cathe, live in Southern California.
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