A lot is said about when Jesus is coming back.
Though there are many “signs of the times” we can be looking for that would alert us to the fact that His coming is near, we should not focus on the “when.” Instead, we need to be thinking about the “what.”
As in, what am I to be doing as I await the return of Christ?
As we bring our series, Ready or Not, to a close, we will see what Jesus said we are to be doing as believers as we look for His return.
These words are found in Matthew 25, where tells us three stories, or parables.
• The first is the Parable of the 10 Bridesmaids (verses 1-13).
• The second is the Parable of the Talents (verses 14-30).
• And the third is on the Separation of the Sheep and Goats (verses 14-30).
So join us as we tackle the subject “How to Wait for Christ’s Return.”
Service times at Harvest Riverside are 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 AM, PST.
Service times for Harvest Orange County are 9:30 and 11:30 AM.
It’s all webcast live at www.harvest.org.
The Harvest Crusade
Can you believe it? It’s only 13 days until the Anaheim Harvest Crusade!
If you are anywhere in California, I hope that you are planning on attending.
We are going to make this the most “web-friendly” crusade we have ever done as well with a lot of custom features to enhance the viewing experience, so as much as possible, you will feel like you are there!
To find out more, go to
Louis Zamperini Interview
On Sunday night at our Crusade, we will have our special guest, WW2 hero Louis Zamperini!
This week on our broadcast, A New Beginning, we did a two-part interview with Louis that you must hear. Our producer, Dave Spiker, did an amazing “theatre of the mind” approach to Louis’ story, complete with music, sound effects, and much more.
To hear that, go here:
What about the person who has never heard the gospel? Someone off in the middle of the desert or jungle?
Will God judge them without hearing it?
Now, at first glance, this seems like a fairly noble question to ask.
For it appears that the person asking it is greatly concerned about the eternal plight of someone who has never heard the gospel.
This question is usually asked by the person you are sharing the gospel with.
I suggest to you there may be an ulterior motive in asking it, which has little to nothing to do with the eternal plight of the person
who has never heard the gospel message.
This is one of the many topics I will be dealing with in my message tonight at Harvest Orange County that I am calling “Reaching the Whole World (Not Just Ours).”
Come join us live or watch it at 7:00 pm, PST at www.harvest.org.
I wish you could have known my son, Christopher David Laurie.
Three years ago he left us unexpectedly.
Our hearts are still heavy with sorrow that is somehow mixed with the joy of knowing we will see him again.
Below is something my wife wrote about our son.
I have spoken on this many times, but my wife has not.
What she has written is honest and honoring to God and my son’s memory.
I encourage you to read it.
Here is a video that we prepared about Christopher’s life as well.
By Cathe Laurie
July 24, 2008
The day broke, in the cool morning air. The sun shone brilliantly as a breeze stirred in the camphor tress that line the streets of our neighborhood. It was shaping up to be a perfect day, the kind of day on which young moms take their children to the beach, and grandmothers love to remember.
I woke early, made the bed, changed into my running clothes, tied on my Nikes. I was headed out for a quick early run. Life was good. Our firstborn son had a beautiful wife who knew Jesus as her Savior, and in the past year even her mother had come to faith. I was happy.
I looked forward to Thursdays when my daughter-in-law Brittany and her mom Sheryll would come over for a time of Bible study. “Papa” Greg would take Stella for lunch so we could pray and read together. It was good.
Our “perfect day” would last for only a few measured minutes longer, as we were about to face a tragedy that would break in like a cruel thief.
We had been studying through the book of Philippians. That morning, the verse I’d set for our time together would be Paul’s famous passionate statement in chapter 3, verse 10. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death…” Little did we realize we would have a crash course on the subject. Only this time, I would no longer be guiding the discussion…He would.
My son was 33 years old. Somewhere on the 91 Freeway between Green River and Serfas Club Drive, Christopher’s life on earth would end. He had a daughter who was to celebrate her second birthday in 4 days, and another baby girl due in 4 months. Her party would be cancelled, and for many months time would stand still.
It felt like God had taken a big eraser and cleaned the chalkboard of my dreams. He would draw a different picture than the one I had in mind. The colors would be darker and more somber, the lines less straight and crisp. Thomas Merton is said to have written, “God draws straight with crooked lines.” It’s true.
It is unimaginable planning your son’s memorial service, choosing a coffin, a gravesite, an inscription; unimaginable standing in the delivery room watching the birth of his second child without him there. Every holiday, anniversary, birthday…parts of me have been broken…and broken again.
We have never suffered more, cried more, trusted more, or grown more. Getting up in the morning and going to bed at night required strength we didn’t have, and only God could give. And He did.
You may have heard people who suffer say things like, “It feels like a punch in the stomach.” I can tell you the emotional pain you face one second after you wake knocks the wind out of you. My first thought is, “Christopher is gone. It isn’t a bad dream. Oh God, help.”
The pain hasn’t gone away, it’s changed. Trauma over time hurts differently, unfolding and morphing unexpectedly. I stopped asking, “Why?” because I knew that even if I heard the answer, it would be too big for me to wrap my mind around. “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out.”
I do know the Bible is full of stories that helped me; stories of those who could teach me how to live in pain. I suggest you learn them and take notes. They flooded my mind and instructed my heart that dark day.
In the Book of Acts we read the story of how Simon Peter was released from prison but in the same chapter, the Apostle James was beheaded. Hebrews 11 is full of contrasts. Some women received back their dead, raised to life. Some stopped the mouths of lions while others were tortured, put to death by stoning. None of us know how our lives or the lives of those we love will play out.
But I can say God is good. I have heard the Lord Jesus’ calming voice and felt His nearness. I can stand beside Mary, His mother, at the foot of the cross and hear His cry, “My God, My God, why…?” I can imagine the tears our Lord, too, has tasted at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, as he prayed and sweat blood, and cried alone in the garden of Gethsemane. I have a God who suffered. And for that reason He is my greatest Comforter. He knows what I feel and far, far more He is able to give me strength I need every day. For this I love Him more.
Just days after the Lord took Christopher home, we received a card from Warren Wiersbe that I keep in my journal. I read it again today on the eve of Christopher’s anniversary.
“Dear Greg and Cathe,
“As God’s children we live on promises not explanations, and you know the promises as well as we do. When we arrive in Heaven we will hear the Explanations, accept them and say, ‘May the Lord be glorified.’
“Meanwhile, we continue to walk by faith, asking God to help us comfort others, lest our own tears be wasted.
“Your people will detect a new tone in your ministries, whether you sense it or not, and the Lord will accomplish unusual things. Trust Him. Betty and I shall be wrapping our arms around you as we pray for you. It takes time to digest grief, so be patient with yourselves and with the Lord. Jesus saves the best wine for last.”
It is all true.
We have lived on promises.
We have no tidy explanations.
We have accepted this, and have seen the Lord glorified in unexpected ways.
We have been comforted, and have comforted countless others.
We have not wasted our tears.
There has been a new tone in our ministries.
God has done unusual things.
We continue to trust Him as we “digest” our grief.
Jesus does save the best wine for last.
Until then, I will wait for that day… I can almost taste it now.
The Nation Israel
She sits in the eye of the hurricane of end times events.
Israel is Ground Zero, or as my friend Joel Rosenberg puts it, “The Epicenter.”
According to Scripture, the regathering of the Jewish people to their homeland is not just a
‘sign of the times’ but is the super-sign.
The Bible predicted her scattering, regathering, and the attacks that will come against her.
Come join us this Sunday as we look together at Israel and her place in the prophetic puzzle, in my message from the Ready or Not series, “Israel: The Eye of the Hurricane of the End Times.”
I will be speaking at all services this weekend including a live message in the Fourth Service at Harvest Riverside.
Normally, we run a video of my morning message there.
We will be joined in all services by the very talented artist Britt Nicole.
Britt is not only a great singer/songwriter/performer but she has a real heart for ministry.
I know you will love her.
Join us in person or check it out online.
Our service times for Harvest Riverside are 7:30/9:30/11:30 am and 5:00 pm.
Service times for Harvest Orange County are 9:30 and 11:30 am.
Or watch it live or archived at www.harvest.org.
They seem to be in short supply these days.
Sometimes I wonder if we even know what a genuine hero is.
Tonight, I want to talk not only about heroes, but specifically “unsung” ones.
Join us at Harvest Orange County for my message “Unsung Heroes” from Acts 9.
There will also be special music from Dennis Agajanian.
For more information, go to www.harvest.org.
If I decided how my day were to go, I would never write in “crisis.”
I would never write, “Get sick” here or “Have my tire go flat” there, or “Have this unexpected disaster take place.” I would just write in all the good stuff in life. I would plan for everything to go my way. There would be no traffic on the freeways. It would always be green lights and blue skies.
God is in charge.
But guess what? We’re not in charge of our lives. God is.
I love what the prophet once admitted to the Lord: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23, NKJV).
The fact is, God will allow so-called “bad things” to happen to us in the course of our days. But as time goes by, you will find that the significant things you learn in life didn’t really come from the good times and the mountaintop experiences. They came from those times of crisis in which you were more dependent on God. Many of the most difficult days will, in retrospect, turn out to be unbelievably valuable, because it is through those so-called “bad times” that you will learn some of life’s most important lessons.
Chosen by God.
The things we experience are not random events that float in and out of our lives. They are rather specific events that have been chosen by God and are timely and purposeful. This means the good things as well as the bad things. It means the wonderful, happy times of life as well as the dark, difficult days.
When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you come under His protective care. God is fully aware of everything that happens to you, and thankfully He is never asleep on the job. He pays careful attention to the smallest details of your life and is in complete in control of all circumstances that surround you. He knows what’s happening in your life right now—knows it better than you do. And His presence and provision will be all you need to make it through.
The Return of Jesus Christ to the earth.
This great event is described for us many times in Scripture.
There are over 300 passages in Scripture that deal with Christ’s return.
Jesus spoke of it at least 21 times when He walked this earth.
Statistically, one verse in 25 mentions the Lord’s return.
Clearly, God wants us to know about this significant future event.
What do we do?
But what are we supposed to be doing as we await His return?
That is what I will be talking about at our services this weekend at Harvest Riverside and Orange County in my message from our Ready or Not series.
My message title for this Sunday is “Till He Comes.”
Service times for Harvest Riverside are 7:30/9:30/11:30 am and 5:00 pm.
Service times for Harvest Orange County are 9:30 and 11:30 am.
Or you can watch the live webcast at www.harvest.org.
What are the traits of a true follower of Jesus Christ?
We will find answers to that question and much more tonight at
Harvest Orange County in my message from the Book of Acts,
“An Unexpected Conversion”.
It starts at 7:00 pm and there will also be special music by The Skypilot.
It will be webcast live at www.harvest.org.