Creflo Dollar - Do We Really Need God?
Tonight, if you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Exodus chapter 19 and 8. I hear a lot of people, a lot of interviews, a lot of folks saying, "Well, I just don't know if I need God". And I hear people who say, "Well, you know, I used to be a Christian but I'm not a Christian now, and I just think I can live life without God," and "If God was the all-knowing God then, you know, why would he create an Adam and Eve and that whole deal in the Garden and he knew what was gonna happen"? Or, you know, "If God was God then, you know, he knew this person was gonna have this wreck, why didn't he do something to stop it"? Or, you know, "If he's the all-knowing God and he knows something bad gonna happen to somebody, then why would he just sit back and let it happen to somebody? What kind of God is that"?
Are you familiar with those statements? And we all understand that they're ignorant of the nature of God. And when I'm asked these questions, I would like to have one sentence to answer it but it's volumes of things that you have to go to put together to really understand God and understand God's nature. And so, humanism has convinced our country, for the most part, a lot of people, they think, "Well, you maybe don't need God". And then, as we're correcting the errors of our past, you know, unfortunately some of those errors have really captured people and they don't ever wanna have anything to do with God because of what they thought, because of what they heard, because of what somebody said.
And so, I'm gonna dig into this tonight and I dunno if we're gonna finish it but you know how we're doing. We go as far as we can go and then we figure it out, but gonna be no rushin'. And so I call this series, "Do We Really Need God Or Can We Live Without Him"? "Do We Really Need". Is that true? Do we really need God? Because, a lot of times, people will go so far as to say: Well, wouldn't it be kind of stupid for God if he knew this was gonna happen and why in the world is he just gonna let it happen? He's supposed to be all-knowing and he's supposed to be this. I mean, if he knows everything then didn't he know that person's gonna get cancer and why'd he just sit back and let them die of cancer? If he know everything, then he know I was gonna need money. Why would he sit back and just let me be homeless? What kind of God would do that?
Again, lack of knowledge and don't understand how the system works. So I wanna go all the way back to Exodus chapter 19 and verse 8 and this is very interesting because Exodus 19 is right before he gave the Ten Commandments, right before he began to deal with the law. And something happened here that I wanna really look at.
I wanna start at verse 5, Exodus chapter 19, verse 5. He says, "Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shall speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, 'All that the Lord hath spoken,'" underline this, "'we will do.' And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord".
Now, what we just read just, you know, in most commentaries they say, "Well, they made a decision to come together and to agree to be obedient to God. So what's wrong with that? The issue is, is right after they said these three words, "We will do," it looked like something really tee'd God off. Look what happened right after that, verse 8, and verse 9 says: "And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever.' And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord," because the people couldn't talk to God directly. There had to be a mediator, somebody that would carry the message.
Verse 10: "And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Go unto the people, sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.' And thou shall set bounds unto the people round about, saying, 'Take heed to yourselves, that you go not up into the mountain, or touch the border of it: and whosoever touches the mount shall surely be put to death.'" Now, where did that come from? That's new. So right after they said, "We will do it," he said, "Okay, put your hands on that mountain. You're gonna die now".
They were touching it before. Before this, they were all around the mountain. He says, "All right, now touch it and you will surely die". And if you keep reading, there's more things that you murmur now, you're gonna die now. They murmured before. I mean, when they got delivered out of Egypt, they were murmuring throughout that whole process. You remember, they murmured about having manna. "When are we gonna have some meat"? Nobody died but now, after this, "Murmur, you're gonna die".
Three thousand people died at Mount Sinai. What's going on? What happened? And then you read all the way down to Exodus 20 and then in He starts off in Exodus 20 by giving them the law: Thou shall not have no other gods before me. Thou shall not make unto thee a graven image. Thou shall not bow down. And in Exodus 20 he is now giving the law. Then in Exodus verse 24, chapter 20, he says: "And an altar earth thou shall make unto me, and shall sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, thy peace offerings, sheep, oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou will make me an altar of stone, thou shall not build it of hewn stone: for if thou", hewn stone requires somebody effort. "For if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou has polluted it".
Okay, so self-effort was involved in hewn stone. That's just a little key right there. He says, "Don't put that here in this". He says, "Neither shall thy go up by steps unto my altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereunto". So he says here in verse 24 down, he says, "I'm giving you the Ten Commandments but I know you're not gonna be able to keep 'em so," in verse 24, "I'm gonna ask you to build a altar and bring animals and sacrifice 'em on a altar". He says, "I'm gonna bless you through the sacrifice".
Okay, think about what he just said. Keep these commandments and then he turns around and say, "I know you can't keep 'em so build us an altar and I can bless you through the altar 'cause you ain't gonna be able to keep these commandments. I'm not gonna be able to bless you through that 'cause you ain't gonna be able to keep these commandments".
So if he knew that they could keep the commandments, then why, in verse 24, did he say, "Build an altar and I'll bless you through the sacrifice"? 'Cause he knew they weren't gonna be able to keep the Commandments. And why did he start giving them commandments in the first place? 'Cause, remember, the Scripture says in Romans: "The law entered". It came in. Wasn't intended to do, why? Why after this statement you get the law and you get the sacrificial system of where you would bring an animal and your sins will be forgiven for a year and the blood of the animal would cover your sins. It wasn't enough to get rid of your sins but it would cover it. None of that started until after they replied in Exodus 19 and 8.
What happened? They said, "We will do". All right, now, wait for a moment, even before we get to this. Do you realize that grace was working during this whole time? During the whole time. What did they do to deserve to be free from the slavery that they were in in Egypt? Give me the one thing that they did that said, "Ah-hah, you have earned the right to be delivered". They didn't deserve to do anything. They didn't deserve any of it. He didn't deliver them because they had good behavior. He delivered them because they were good.
Tell me where in the Bible where they did something to deserve guidance by day and guidance by night. What did they do? What did they do to deserve the Red Sea opening up and giving 'em a path to go across and drying the ground? Show me where they deserved it. Where did they deserve mammon? Tell me what did they do to earn to get mammon. Tell me what did they do to earn or deserve to get water out of a rock. It was grace the whole time. It was unmerited favor the whole time. The whole time. From the time they got delivered out of Egypt until the time in Exodus chapter 19 here, it was about not what they could do but what God could do.
Now, hopefully, I got your mind going with what's happening here. Not one time did they do anything to deserve something and then God shows up and he says, you know, "If I do this and I do that," they say, "Yes, we will do". Are you all kind of following what's going on? How all of a sudden it's gonna be based on what you do? You're getting out of slavery wasn't based on what you do. You getting across the Red Sea wasn't based on what you do. None of that was based on what you do. So all of a sudden they thought, "If we perform well, God'll bless us well and the whole thing". God wanted to release this covenant of grace, I am convinced. He wanted to release this covenant of grace right here at this point.
What happened? They hadn't been convinced. They thought, "We don't need you. We can do this. We don't need your unmerited favor. We can do this on our own merit, on our own effort. We can make this happen". That's the thing that got God. Ladies and gentlemen, please bring it up to where we are right now. Anything you're doing to think it's your doings that's gonna cause you to get favor with God is not pleasing in God's sight. God wants you to depend on him more than you depend on yourself, more than you depend on your performance, more than you depend on your self-effort.
Here's what we do. Here's how you're gonna make it this year. I'm gonna totally trust God, I'm gonna depend on him, I'm gonna see Jesus. Whenever I can't see my answer, I'm gonna see Jesus. When I see him it's enough. And you will finally concede that it is not by your power, not by your effort, not by your performance. It is your trust in Jesus Christ. And when that happens, ladies and gentlemen, that's when it's gonna rock 'n' roll in your life because you have finally come to the point where you realize, "I am nothing without him and I cannot be successful by myself".
So now you understand what was happening here. We can do this. I wrote this down because I didn't wanna forget the simplicity of what it was saying here. This was what really made God angry because the people were telling God that they didn't want to have to depend on him for anything. Give them some rules to follow. The Ten Commandments were given in the very next chapter: laws that only one man could ever keep. And Jesus was the only one that could ever keep 'em. Why did he give it to them? To let them know, to bring them to a point in their life where they recognize, "You need me. You need to depend on me".
You know what religion has done in our day and time? Humanism is all about the power that you carry as a human and that you're depending on your effort. You're depending on your education. You're depending on all of what you got. And look around, look around. We're living in a society where people are encouraging other people, "Don't depend on God. He'll let you down. Don't depend on God". And they have a testimony of how God let 'em down, so they say. They don't realize that the devil is loose but they'll tell people, "This is what God".
And they'll talk about their church hurt, they'll talk about how God let 'em down. They'll talk about, you know, "I prayed but I didn't hear nothing, that God let this happen to my mom and God let that happen to my children and so I'm encouraging you," they will say, "that no, don't deal with him. He will let you down. To trust yourself". And you know what? That's the spirit of mammon. Trust yourself because God will let you down, so they say. How many of you know that's wrong? How many know many, many, many, many people have been deceived, have been deceived, they are being deceived, they've left the church?
A lot of people that used to be in church. Some of it was because we tried to teach them how to do it under the law and they were sweating, trying to get something done on their own effort. And then when they saw it was never gonna happen, they just got tired. Legalism will wear you out. "You gotta do that in order for God to do this. And if you don't do that, God ain't gonna be pleased with you. And you got to pray for two hours a day and you can't wear these pants and, oh my, you gotta do that and, you know, you can't wear no make-up and, you know, the reason why that ain't working because, you know, you didn't please God. You should have been walking more holy and, you know, you weren't meditating on the Word long enough. You know, you needed to be a little bit more holier than what you were. Now you forgot to give your tithe. You gave $5 but it was $5.10. See, that 10 cents still messed the whole thing up. You ain't witnessed to nobody in a while, and because you haven't witnessed to nobody, then God's not pleased and, you know, you missed New Year's Eve service and God ain't pleased with that. That's why your year ain't looking right, right now".
And all of that is a lie and it makes God look like the biggest thug around and it's a lie. It's a lie. But when you get it from church, people think, "I'm going to church to get help. I don't expect to go to church and hear a lie". You're trusting the preacher, you're trusting that the guy knows what he's talking about. And I'm trying to tell you that all churches are not the same. You thought it would be all right, just go to a church and it'll be all right. And you're finding out that it's not all right.
You better be as selective about a church as you are about the food that you put in your belly. If you like chitlins, you better be selective about whoever prepared those chitlins because chitlins are not cleaned the same. Are you following what I'm saying? And so people have heard a lot of things and they've concluded a lot of things and they've built a set of rules themselves and now they're telling people, "That don't work. That don't work. That don't work. That don't work".
I got a thing coming out on Netflix where I sit down and talk with Killer Mike and from his point of view on this thing and from my grace point of view on this thing and it was amazing to me to see how people in... and religion has really preached a bunch of stuff to folks. That's what I got. I thought I had to work real hard to please God, sweating, trying to get it. And even when I was working real hard to try to please God, I never really believed it was enough 'cause the preachers never let off.
It was always something else, and it was always something else, and it was always something else, and the question came: "When was enough gonna be enough? When is it enough? When is enough"? "Well, Brother Dollar, you can't date that girl". "But you said I couldn't commit fornication. I'm not committing fornication". "Yeah, but if you stay with her too long, you're gonna eventually", "Well, god dawg, how am I gonna get married if I don't". Just, it was never enough. "The Lord will tell you who need a...", "Well, can my eyes be involved in it? Can I at least be drawn to somebody I'm attracted to"?
And I'm getting ready to marry somebody that looked like a, that didn't look right and, no, no, to me, because, you know, I'm thinking it was the Spirit of the Lord and God was, like, "No, that's not it". And it was struggle. And it was never enough, and all these religious games and I tell you, I quit. I quit. One weekend I quit. My pastor called, "You coming to church tonight"? I said, "No, sir". He said, "Why"? I said, "I'm just tired. I'm just tired". I just couldn't figure it out. I'm, like, "Life has got to be better. Is this what this is about"?
And so I kinda can relate. I don't agree with everything I hear but I kinda can relate where these questions are coming from. I'm praying for people to be healed and I'm doing everything. I'm emptying my oil in my bottle, I'm greasing the head with oil. You know, if you anoint your head with oil, so first they told me, they said, "You know, if you pray for the sick they'll be healed". They said, "No, that ain't gonna work. You've gotta lay hands on them and then pray for them to be healed. No, no, did you put oil on 'em"? "No". "Well, put the oil on 'em first".
I thought, "God dawg, it's like you got to have a recipe book for everything. You know, can't God just hear me? I mean, I got to do", "No, no, no. Reason why it didn't work, you need to fast for two days. You know, this type coming not out except by prayer and fasting. No, no, no, no, no, no. What day you praying for him"? "It was on the fifth day". "You need to pray on the seventh day 'cause", I'm tired. I'm tired. I'm tired. And begin to wonder, "Is this real? Or is this the biggest con game that's ever been created by man"?
And I had to find out myself. And what I basically found out, and the pastors here will agree with me, is that we were just taught wrong a lot of stuff. We were just taught wrong. And you were taught not to question, you remember that? 'Cause if you questioned God, that's a sin. That's not a sin to ask God a question. The sin was questioning in doubt. The sin was doubting God, not asking him a question. And every time I wanted to do something... I asked one preacher one time, I said, "Preacher," I said, "If I got a dad and my dad had got a dad and he's got... his dad got a dad, who was God's dad"? He said, "'That's a mystery. Some things we don't need to know". I'm like, "Why can't I know that? That's a simple question. Who was God's daddy? You the preacher, who God daddy? Who's your daddy"?
I got tired. I mean, it was only by the grace of God that I stand here today to you as a believer because I saw so much stuff, you know. And then, you know, some of y'all went through the tongues thing. You know, if you didn't get tongues immediately, you needed to, what is it, tarry? You need to stay on your knees and tarry until something happen. And you just tarry, tarry literally means wait but why are you waiting on the Holy Ghost when he's already been sent and you just sit there and and you had the devil in you if you didn't get it at that time.
And you had to praise the Lord and they'd clap, "C'mon, c'mon, you gotta get it, you gotta get it. Reason why you ain't got the Holy Ghost, you got pants on. Go get them pants off and put a dress on and no, no, no, you got them jewelry on. You a Jezebel". All of that stuff, all of these years. I'm recognizing that we gotta crack through all of that stuff so I can show people the nature of God, that what we heard was not God. If y'all gonna clap, clap. I mean, y'all seem to be, "I don't know whether to clap or get up and leave. Or what you talkin' about? I don't even know what you're talkin' about".
Now, go to Isaiah 46:9 through 11. So basically, what they were saying here was, "We can do this. We don't need you. We don't need your unmerited favor. We can do this without you". And I told you the biggest sin in the body of Christ today is Christians trying to be like God without God.