Harvest at Home: Finding Peace During Crisis - Part 2 (Transcript)

Roger Marsh: How should Bible believing Christians approach the pandemic that we're currently living through? Should we be fearful of the unknown or are we missing an opportunity to advance God's kingdom? I'm Roger Marsh and this Family Talk broadcast is produced by the James Dobson family Institute. Today, we are concluding Dr. Dobson's pertinent conversation with pastor Greg Laurie, and layman evangelist, Barry Meguiar. These men will continue their discussion on how we can find peace during this crisis and also to comfort those stricken by fear. Without further delay, here once again is Dr. James Dobson to reintroduce his guests on this edition of Family Time.

Dr. Dobson: I want to introduce and welcome two great friends of mine who are squarely in the middle of this cultural reconfiguration. The first is pastor Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Church in Riverside, California. He's an evangelist and a pastor who has introduced hundreds of thousands of people to Jesus Christ with a simple gospel message. Greg preaches the unedited word of God and the response has just been wonderful. Also with us today, is Barry Maguire, an evangelist layman whose ministry Revival Outside the Walls is what every layman's responsibility is. This is a passion for Barry. I've known him for more than 40 years and he cares more about this subject of introducing people to Christ than any other subject. He's a businessman, but this is where his heart is. So, I have these two men with me, Greg and Barry. It's such a pleasure to talk to you about something so important. Barry, I'm going to begin with you. Tell me why there is something deep within you that is driving your passion.

Barry Meguiar: I started sharing my faith because, Karen and I prayed for years, "We want joy." We were doing everything. We're giving sacrificially of our time, our money, everything. We had no joy, and said, "God, how do we hit joy?" And I met this man that had the most joy I'd ever seen. He sat with me for an hour and we just, he was a very important man and he just started sharing all these stories about sharing his faith. Everywhere he went, he was sharing his faith, and I walked away and I said, God, in tears, literally, I said, I want what he has. And ever since, I've been sharing my faith every moment, and I got my joy so quick. I came back and then I found this scripture in John 15:11. "When you bear fruit, my joy will remain with you and your joy will remain full."

I tell you there's nothing like doing that. You talk to somebody, it's amazing within just two or three minutes through that you don't even know when you're loving them they'll share their need with you. You don't have to prepare. No preparation needed. The Holy Spirit will give you the right scripture, the life experience, somebody else's life experience. I might talk about Johnny Erickson or one of my own experiences, and when you connect the right message to their need, there's tears, Jim, so quickly and you've made contact and when you walk away from those encounters, God just used you. He just, I pedal car wax and he just used me to lead that person you God, and there's no greater experience in the entirety of human experience than that, and I look at God and I see him smiling at me and I think, the joy of the Lord is my strength and the joy of the Lord is his joy, not mine. When I see a smile on Jesus' face looking down at me and saying, "Good job, Barry. I orchestrated that for you. You pulled it off."

Dr. Dobson: I've got a smile on my face, too, because you spread joy. Greg, I want to make sure that those who are listening to us want to find you. There are a lot of people listening to us now that are not techies and they don't know how to go to a computer and locate you on Sunday. What I like about what you did last week is people could choose the hour, the people could pick their time and hear it. How can they do that?

Greg Laurie: Okay. We're going to actually start on Saturday this weekend and it just starts early in the afternoon, like four o'clock six o'clock Saturday and then Sunday morning we're going to actually have one at four o'clock for our east coast audience because that's later for them. Then it's four o'clock, six o'clock, eight o'clock, 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock, two o'clock, four o'clock, et cetera, and people responded to every one, but the earlier ones seemed to connect more effectively.

Dr. Dobson: How do they find it?

Greg Laurie: Just go to their computer, go to your browser and type in harvest.org, harvest.org. Also, there's an app, where the app store is on your phone, you download the Harvest app in the app store. It says Harvest: Greg Laurie. It works for Apple phone, iOS as it's called, Android platform. That's the other phones that are out there like Samsung. Then you can download the app for Apple TV and watch it on your television set and it looks just like a TV program, and for the Roku bots.

Dr. Dobson: Hey, there are people out there who are saying, that sounds so good to me. That sounds like what I need, but I don't know what I'm doing. I've never read the Bible. I've never had anybody share the gospel with me. Tell me more. Is there anybody they can talk to?

Greg Laurie: Oh yeah, we have live chat. So when they come onto our app on the phone for instance, or on a tablet device, you can check in, you give your name, whatever name you want to use actually, and people are talking to you. We have five or six pastors moderating the chat at any given moment, so if you want to ask a question, they'll help you. You want to accept Christ, they'll lead you to Christ right there. You have a prayer request, we'll pray for your prayer requests. So, it's very interactive and really a great way to fellowship. I mean, I have to say it's amazing how this technology is working for us right now.

Dr. Dobson: Greg, why do I as a listener, why do I need Jesus? I don't even know who he is. What do you mean by needing Jesus?

Greg Laurie: Barry said earlier, people think if they live a good life, that makes them a Christian and will get them to heaven. Here's the reality. The reason the gospel is here is because we can't live a good life. We don't live a good life. We'd say, "Well, I live according to my own standards." No you don't. You don't even live according to the standards you've set for yourself, but really God has set standards for us that none of us can reach. You find them in the 10 Commandments. We all fall short, but that's where Jesus comes in because we're sinners, because we've broken God's laws, because we have fallen short of his standards. God loved us so much he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place.

Jesus came to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay, and only Jesus is uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between a Holy God and sinful humanity because Jesus was not just a good man, he wasn't the man that became God, that's impossible. He was God becoming a man. Jesus was the God man, fully God, fully man, dying in our place on the cross. If you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you can be forgiven and begin a new relationship with God, and then know with certainty that you'll go to heaven when you die, and also find the meaning and purpose of your life here on earth.

Dr. Dobson: As a layman again, I've found it helpful to explain that in the Old Testament early on in the relationship between the Jewish people and God. There was no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood.

Greg Laurie: True.

Dr. Dobson: And so they sacrificed a lamb and that was their sacrifice to the Lord. But then the God of the heavens sent his only son, Jesus, to be the sacrificial lamb. John the Baptist said, "Behold a lamb who taketh away the sin of the world." And he becomes our lamb. His blood covers us in a way that we can't do that for itself. I'm not a theologian. That's as close as I can get to it.

Barry Meguiar: No, that's exactly right. And again, this thing about being good, we can't even measure up to our own standard of being good.

Greg Laurie: No, we don't.

Barry Meguiar: So we're all fallen short. And the wage of sin is death, that's hell, but the gift of God, it's a gift he's giving us. He gave us his son. All we have to do is receive his gift of eternal life. It's so easy and this is good news. How can you get, people don't get mad at you when you tell them, "Do you know God loves you?"

Dr. Dobson: Yes.

Barry Meguiar: Most of them can't even receive it. They don't beat you up on it. "You know, God loves you." "What? No, he can't love," "Yes, he loves you. I'm a Christian. I can tell you, I read the Bible. God loves you. In fact, he loves you as much as he's ever loved anybody ever, and he has one plan for you, one desire for you. To spend eternity for him in heaven." That Doesn't get people mad at you, folks. It doesn't. It brings 'em to tears.

Dr. Dobson: Barry, explain the gift of eternal life. Many people have never heard that phrase before.

Barry Meguiar: Well, we're all born with this basic instinct of good and bad, or rewards and punishments. If you do something wrong, you're going to get grounded. If you do something good, you're going to get a vacation or something. We know rewards and punishments. The church has stopped giving the punishments. We're just preaching half the gospel. We don't even want to mention hell anymore for fear we're going to chase everybody away. We won't be able to pay for our building programs. We're so worried about preaching the full gospel, and there's more scriptures on hell than there is on heaven. Hell, you don't want to go there, okay? We're going to spend an eternity somewhere. All of us are going to spend eternity somewhere and Jesus says, "Come unto me all you who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." I give you eternal life.

And to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that whenever you die, to live is Christ and to die is gain, to gain eternity. Since the description of heaven is beyond any of our comprehension, to think that we have that ahead of us, the things that we go through now are nothing compared to what's ahead of us in glory. So all of us walk around in peace and 80% of America doesn't have that peace. How can we sit here smugly in our own homes and know that God's covering us, that we're protected and knowing that more than 200 million people are lost in America. What do we got? 60,000 people infected with the virus and it's tragic. I'm not underlying that, but we got 200 million people that are lost. I mean, we want to talk about a crisis? This is a crisis and this is a moment to respond to that crisis.

Greg Laurie: Very true.

Dr. Dobson: Greg, tell us what repentance means. A lot of people have heard that word. They don't know what it means to repent.

Greg Laurie: Well, it's interesting. It's actually a word, like a military term, to do an about face, so it's changing your direction: instead of running from God, now you run to God. The Bible tells us that Godly sorrow produces repentance. So it's not enough to be sorry for your sin. You can be sorry and never repent. I think you see examples in scripture of people that were sorry for certain things, but they didn't change their behaviors. So, it means you're sorry for your sin, but you change your direction and turn toward God and do the things that God wants you to do. The Bible says, "repent and be converted and times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord."

So, to me belief and repentance are like the right and left wing of an airplane, both are important. You need to believe in Jesus. That's what you hold on to. You need to repent of sin. That's what you let go of, the old life, sin. And then as you grow in your faith, you learn more about what sin is and what God expects of you. You have to begin to read the scripture, but to the best of your ability, just like that one sinner, that Jesus talked about, the sinner who went to pray, and his prayer was simply, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

God will more than meet you halfway and honor that prayer. I'll tell you, Dr. Dobson, when I became a Christian at the age of 17, I did not really understand what I was doing, but I did want Jesus and I was not happy with my life, and as I grew in my faith, I began to understand repentance more and obedience more, but just start where you are. And the Bible says, if you'll call upon the name of the Lord, you'll be saved.

Barry Meguiar: Let me just add to that if I can, Greg. 70% of America believes they're Christians. They say they're Christians. Only 20% of America goes to church at a regular basis. So, what's the difference? 70% of America knows who God is. They know who Jesus Christ is. They would swear on a stack of Bibles who Jesus is, they know who he is. They think that's all it takes is a knowledge, but the scriptures tell us that the demons in hell know who he is and shake and tremble. We have stopped speaking and telling people about salvation, about confess- recognizing our sinfulness and confessing to God, saying, "God, I'm a sinner. I recognize I've made a lot of mistakes. I can't believe you love me and you're ready to forgive me and I ask for your forgiveness right now. Lord I accept your forgiveness. I'm accepting your gift of eternal life right now as I accept you as my Lord and my savior."

And most people have never heard that message, and whose fault is that? That's the fault of every Christian and every pastor. It's our fault. The world's blinded. Understand the people in Washington, why are they so charismatically, if you will, emotionally proclaiming their stupidity? They say the dumbest things. They're lost. 80% of America is lost and Satan blinds the minds of those who are lost. We're living in a lost world and we have the light and if each of us lights our world, here's the key, if each of us lights our world, if all 30 million of us light our own world, I light my world in the waiting rooms and the restaurants, and the cashier and all that. If we all start doing that, we'll light the world. We can evangelize America in thirty days.

Dr. Dobson: Man, there is such truth here. I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you guys are sharing. Let me ask another question from the point of view of an un-believer. "You guys don't understand. I'm 70 years old. I have lived a wretched life. I've walked away from three families." If you're a man, "I've had so many women, I can't count them. I have been unkind to people. I've not given of my resources to those in need. I've done it all wrong. Why would God forgive me? In one simple prayer, he can wipe all that free and all that away? Tell me why he would do that for me."

Greg Laurie: He'll do that for you because he loves you, and even if you were living a good life and everything was the opposite of that, if you'd been faithful to your wife and tried to do everything you could as a responsible husband and father, you have still fallen short of God's standard, so we're all sinners, but think of this as an example or think of this person, Saul of Tarsus. He was a religious man, yet he was a Christian killer. He hunted down followers of Jesus and he met Jesus on the Damascus Road and became a believer, and now we know him as the apostle Paul, but here was a man who murdered people, and God forgave him and gave him a second chance, and God will give a second chance of forgiveness to anyone who comes to him because Jesus died for all of those sins.

Another example, the woman caught in the act of adultery, she was living in sexual sin, but Jesus dismissed her accusers and said, "Neither do I condemn you, woman, go and sin no more." So, the forgiveness that God gives has nothing to do with me earning it. It has everything to do with Christ purchasing it. It's a gift, and when you have a gift offered to you, you need to reach out and accept the gift, open it and enjoy it. It's not the "wage" of eternal life. It's the gift of eternal life. So, the wages of sin, what we deserve, our death, but the gift of God, the Bible says, is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Reach out, take the gift, open the gift, enjoy the gift. The price has been paid by Christ on the cross. It will never be paid by you deserving it or doing a lot of great things to earn it.

Barry Meguiar: Let me just jump on that a minute. As one who's been sharing my faith every day for all these years, I have a pretty good selection of people to talk about. You know who are the easiest to reach? The scoundrels, the ones that know they're lost. They're much more open. The ones that are hard to reach and the ones, some of the, I call it chumming, I chum everyday. I don't offend people. I just say something about God and let it go. I don't want to overwhelm them. I can't force feed Christianity, but I have some people I've been chumming with for 20, 30 years, and they're the ones that are living righteous lives, are good people, and they know God. They know who God is and they'll call themselves Christian and they'll go to church on Christmas and Easter and they're better than most of the Christians they know.

Those are the hard ones to reach. The easier ones to reach, the ones that know they've really messed up, when you tell them God loves them, they can't hardly take it. "No, no. It doesn't matter what you've done." To speak to your question there, Jim. Doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because even if you're perfect in your mind, you can't be perfect enough to enter into heaven. It has nothing to do with what you do; it has to do with what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you. It's the good news.

Dr. Dobson: Pastor Laurie, we're out of time. I would like to ask you to pray a prayer for this nation about the Coronavirus, about all those who are terrified, those who are already sick and don't know if they're going to die. I think of all the circumstances in which this virus has been expressed, I think of the child whose parent died right in front of him. I think of those who have elderly parents that they love as much as they love their own lives and they're afraid they're going to lose them. I think of husbands who've lost wives or wives who have lost husbands. There's a story behind every one of those statistics that we see on television of the number of people who are sick and the number who have died, and they're longing for hope and for a blessing. Would you pray for a suffering humanity today?

Greg Laurie: Father, we come before you now with all of these people who've lost loved ones, and you are the God of all comfort, and I ask that you would extend your loving hand to each one of these folks and help them as they mourn and grieve the loss of a loved one. As believers, when we lose a loved one and they believe, we have the hope of seeing them again, so they're not just a part of our past, they're also a part of our future. So comfort as only you can comfort, Lord, and remind us how short life is. And the Bible says our life is like a tale or a story that's already been told and that we should number our days and apply our hearts to wisdom, help us to make every day count. And we're praying now, Lord, that you will extend your powerful hand and turn back this Coronavirus, flatten this curve as it's described to us.

Stop this invisible enemy as it has been called, and heal those people right now that have it, Lord, just supernaturally quicken the healing process and let them return to full strength. And protect homes, Lord, we think of how you protected the Israelites when the judgment came upon the firstborn there in Egypt. Protect our homes of those of us that follow you. But Lord, thank you that no matter what, we know we have a home in heaven waiting for us. Help us to keep an eternal perspective. And through this time, we're praying for a great outpouring of your Holy Spirit, and we're praying for a spiritual awakening in America. We think of Jehoshaphat who said, "We don't know what to say, but our eyes are upon you." So Lord, like him, we don't have any strength of our own. Our politicians can't save us. The military can't save us. Only you can save us. So, we call upon you. Our eyes are upon you, Lord. We're looking to you. Hear our prayer. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Dr. Dobson: Barry, pray for the person who has heard the message today and yesterday and they want it, they hear it, they're drawn to it. Pray for that person who's seeking today.

Barry Meguiar: Father God, we pray for those who are listening to us right now that had never expected to listen to this program. Only by your divine intervention in their lives have you brought them to this moment of hearing this message that was designed just for them and yes, for those of you who this resonates with, God put you here for this moment, for you to hear this message. God loves you. He loves you as much as he's ever loved anybody in the world. He loves you as much as he loves his own son, Jesus Christ, and he has one desire for you, that you spend eternity with him. It doesn't matter what you've done, he would just set you free.

And the prayers that we've prayed this day, you've heard them already, but all you have to do is confess. Just say, God, I recognize I've blown it. I've made a lot of mistakes. You heard that over and over, but how important this message is, you just confess it. Recognize your sinfulness and say, God, forgive me in the name of Jesus, I accept you Lord as my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ and Holy God, you're my God for this day forward, and you're set free from all your past. Would you get any better than that?

Dr. Dobson: Oh my goodness. Well, I'm James Dobson. You've been listening to Family Talk and with me are Greg Laurie and Barry Meguiar, my great friends in Christ. You said God loves these people. I'm telling you, I love the two of you. I love you because your love for Jesus and what you're doing, and I just feel like what we've been saying the last two days is anointed. I really believe the Lord's been in our presence and I believe he's going to reach out and answer prayers on behalf of those who reach out to him.

Greg Laurie: Amen.

Dr. Dobson: Thank you for being my guest. I said at the beginning of the first program that I thought this is one of the most important programs we've ever done. I believe it now and I just pray that the Lord will take it and bless it in all the different permutations that it should be heard out there. Blessings to you all, too, and thanks for being my guest.

Greg Laurie: Thank you, Dr. Dobson, love you too and appreciate all that you do.

Dr. Dobson: Thank you so much, Greg. Barry?

Barry Meguiar: Well, it's a moment in time. Let me add an exclamation point. If every pastor started giving altar calls and every Christian started sharing their faith, we could evangelize America during this period of time. In the next month of time, think what we could accomplish together.

Dr. Dobson: That's well said. Barry, I want people to be able to contact you, too. What's the address of Revival Outside the Walls?

Barry Meguiar: Yeah, it is Revival Outside the Walls. Folks, if you want to find out how much fun it is, how easy is it to share your faith, go to ROTW.com. Revival Outside the Walls, ROTW.com. We have hundreds of videos of how-tos. You will not believe how easy, how much fun it is. You're missing out on the time of your life if you're not doing it.

Dr. Dobson: Thank you, everybody. I just want to express my love to those of you who are really struggling. I mean, I can't imagine the circumstances you're in. Some of you lost all your money, or a good part of it, on the stock market. Some of you are going to a wedding that's going to be canceled. Some of you have a high school graduation, there's every possible circumstance and you're really dealing with sorrow and loss and pain and fear. I want you to know that I not only love you, but God loves you and I just pray that the Lord will be with you and get you through this very difficult time of your life.

Roger Marsh: Well, what an encouraging and timely broadcast we've heard over the past couple of days here on Family Talk, in the midst of the chaos that the Coronavirus has caused, we must remember to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ. In Psalm 46, the Psalmist reminds us that God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble. As you hear newscasts that become more worrisome even as the weeks wear on, you can find security and hope in that verse.

By the way, you can learn more about pastor Greg Laurie and Barry Meguiar when you visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. Simply go to drjamesdobson.org and then when you find the broadcast tab, click it and you'll get all the information that you need. Also, if you're looking for an encouraging resource during this anxious time, may we recommend a copy of Mrs. Shirley Dobson's book called, Certain Peace in Uncertain Times. This is a great reminder to lean into God, especially when you're overwhelmed by your circumstances. You can request a copy of the book, Certain Peace in Uncertain Times by visiting drjamesdobson.org, that's drjamesdobson.org.

Of course, you can always order materials online, but these days with everyone practicing social distancing, you might want to talk to a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. That's why we encourage you to call (877) 732-6825, and a member of our team will be happy to chat with you, pray with you, and process your request for Mrs. Dobson's book, Certain Peace in Uncertain Times. So, go to drjamesdobson.org or call us: (877) 732-6825. Please know that through these troubling times The James Dobson Family Institute is praying for you. I'm Roger Marsh. Thank you so much for listening today to this special edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. Pray that you have a blessed and safe weekend.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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