Jentezen Franklin - Which Team Are You On?
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If you have your Bibles, I'd like for you to open them with me. I'm going this morning to the Book of Exodus 32. I'll cut to the chase on it in verse 16 or verse 17, "When Joshua heard the noise of the peoples, they shouted, he said to Moses, 'There's a noise of war in the camp.' But he said, 'It is not the noise of the shout of victory nor the noise of the cry of defeat but the sound of singing I hear.'" The next verse says that He came near the camp, and he saw the calf, and the dancing, and Moses was angered. And I'm gonna skip down to verse 25 now when Moses saw the people were unrestrained. The King James says, "They were naked".
They were naked. Literally, stripped their clothes off. They had him a idol. They made a golden idol. He's coming down off the mountain, and they're naked, and they're dancing, and they're partying, and they are with Team Hell. So, Moses is coming down and he asks this question, verse 26, "Who is on the Lord's side? Which team are you on"? Are you team Heaven or are you team Hell? Are you Team Jesus or are you team Satan? Again, if you have not chosen one of those, if you have not chosen and made your choice, you are by default on Team Hell and Team Satan. That's how it is. That's the gospel. He said, "It's the voice of shouting and singing. They have become fans of an idol and they're worshipping loudly, and dancing, and shouting their praises to their idol, their golden calf".
Joshua understood the sound of fans worshipping and they understood that sound is spiritual. Hell wants as much sound as it can get in our society. Team Hell understands that sound is spiritual. When you go to concert, when you go to a ball game, they don't say, "Get quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet," on the LED screens. They say, "Louder, louder, louder". And yet, the church is getting quieter, and quieter, and quieter and the world and those who are in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, they're getting louder, and perversion is getting louder, and louder, and louder while the church is quieter.
The fans of Heaven, Team Heaven is getting quieter it seems like, while the world and messed up people with no God, the voice of atheism, the voice of socialism, the voice of evil, the voice of corruption, it's getting louder. The anti-God voice is getting louder, while the church that won't offend anybody, that don't wanna hurt anybody's feelings, We don't wanna say nothing controversial, We wanna be quiet. But sound is spiritual. If you don't believe sound is spiritual and what I'm preaching is if you're on Team Heaven, fans are vocal. Fans get loud. And if Hell's crowd can get loud, we ought to get loud. And we ought not to be ashamed about it. We ought not be intimidated about it. I'm on Team Heaven and I'm not intimidated about it.
If I come to a church, we gon' praise the Lord and if I preach, I'm gon' get loud. Ask the walls of Jericho if sound is spiritual. The walls responded to the loud shouts of faith and praise. The walls fell flat. Ask darkness if sound is spiritual. Sound is spiritual. When we raise our voices, it's a spiritual thing. When we praise, it's a spiritual thing. When we testify of God in our life, it's a spiritual thing. And the enemy wants us to get quieter, and quieter, and quieter and tell nobody you're a Christian and be quiet and be quiet. Don't say anything. If you say anything, don't say anything, shhh.
Ask Gideon if sound is spiritual because he had 300 men and normal warfare strategy would say, if you have 300 and the Midianites are 300,000, they have an armed group of soldiers, 300,000 strong, You surround them and you, "Shh, be quiet. You don't want them to know that you're here. They're greater than you in number. They're greater than you in every way. And you need to be..." But God's strategy said, "Nope, that's not how I fight My battles". He said, "I want you to take glass pitchers that have a candle in it, and I want you to break the glass and let the light shine and when it does, I want every one of you, 300 of you, to have a trumpet and I want you to blast that trumpet in praise to Me. And then, I want you to lift up your voice and I want you to scream to the top of your voice, 'The sword of the Lord in Gideon.'" And He said, "Even though the world says that you should be quiet, church, I want you to know my strategy is make as much noise as you can and blow the trumpet of praise, and shout, and shine in a dark world".
Real fans understand this. Team Hell knows that if they can just get us to be quiet, I'm talking about spiritually and I'm talking about even in our nation and in our world. Silence the voice of God, silence the voice of the Holy Spirit, silence the voice of the word. Turn down the volume and turn down the voices. Make church and the voices of church irrelevant to our society and our culture, and turn up the voices of the atheist, and turn up the voices of the humanists, and turn up the voices of those who don't believe in God and don't have any morals and believe that anything should go and everything should go. And there's no such thing as absolutes anymore. And throw away the law of God and throw away the truth of God's word.
That's the deal that we are facing now. Hell's assignment is to cancel the sound and the voice. Cancel everything godly. Cancel everything wholesome. Cancel everything beautiful about marriage between a man and a woman. Cancel it. Cancel the marriage message. Cancel the message of separation. Cancel it. What's interesting is, when you understand that there's a battle going on. Every time the gospel is being preached, first the battle is for the mind and the heart of the preacher so that he won't get up and preach the truth that brings conviction and changes lives. Just preach something sweet. Just preach something nice. Just preach something non-controversial. Just preach something that just kind of go along to get along. And tell me seven ways to enjoy my vacation this summer. Just give me something like that, you know?
I don't need that hard thing. I don't need that word of separation. I don't need Team Heaven or Team Hell, who's on the Lord side? Choose this day who you will serve. I don't need that stuff. "My family... They don't understand... My children". I know they don't understand because we've got so Minnie Mouse that we don't tell them the truth. We've got to stand up for something. You know, Pentecost has a sound. The Bible said in Acts 2, "On the day of Pentecost, their came a sound from Heaven".
In Acts 2:14, it says that, the first the apostle Peter did was he stood up among the eleven. The first thing that's gotta happen if you're on team Heaven, is you gon' have to learn how to take a stand. You're gonna have to stand up, stand for something, stand for something. Take a stand. We shouldn't be sitting down when the world is so hungry for truth. We oughta stand up and if it's controversial, then stand. If it goes against culture, stand. If it's not popular, stand. And I'm not just saying, "Yeah, preacher, you need to do that".
What about you? The enemy's silencing you. The enemy's turning your volume down. You're not getting louder and louder about the Bible and what it says. You're getting quieter and quieter 'cause you don't wanna be... And some of you are so comfortable for the Devil, He's sitting in your lap. He's just... You hadn't moved the whole time. Bless y'all. But I'm trying to get some people to say, "I'm the Lord's side. I'm on Team Heaven and I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the power of God onto salvation". We are not crazy, We are right. Isn't it amazing?
When you're reading Genesis 19 about Sodom and Gomorrah, the whole city was given over to gay lifestyle, transvestites, homosexuality. It's sin, it's an abomination just like adultery is an abomination, just like fornication is an abomination, just like cursing God's name. You're breaking the commandments of God. And I'm not a preacher worth two cent if I won't say it in love and speak the truth in love and tell you. But notice what happened, notice what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible said that, "Lot was sitting down at the gate". He wasn't standing for anything. He wasn't standing up like the apostle did on the day of Pentecost, he stood and he lifted up his voice. But here is Lot and he's sitting. This is a picture of Christians who just sit and watch their culture rot and they never speak up, they never stand up, they never get involved.
Well, you know, if they're bringing things into the schools... I appreciate parents who are starting to get involved and say, "You know what? That crazy stuff is not coming into our school system". I know I sound like a fanatic or something, but really, I'm not. This is how we used to preach all the time. I haven't changed. I used to preach it harder than this. I'm taking it easy on you. Turn to somebody and say, "Are you still on Team Hell"? Ask 'em. The Bible said he stood up and the next he did is he lifted up his voice. You gotta stand up, You gotta stand for something. You know, when Eli was high priest and the Philistines attacked, do you know what the Bible said happened? It said, "Eli was sitting on a stool".
You would think he had took a stand. You would have... and the way that they lost the ark of the covenant is the man of God was sitting on a seat, and suddenly they stole the ark of the covenant and he fell backwards and broke his neck. And there are too many preachers... The glory is leaving the church and we're sitting down instead of standing up and saying, "Now, wait a minute, this isn't right. Wait a minute, that's not right. That's not what the Bible says. We gotta get back to taking a stand".
The apostle Peter stood and then the scripture said, "He lifted up his voice". That doesn't sound conversational, that sounds confrontational. He lifted up his voice. When we began to declare openly, and take a stand that, "I'm not ashamed to praise Him. I'm a fan of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm on Team Heaven and I will lift my hands. I will open my mouth. I will stand for what the Bible teaches and says. I believe it from cover to cover, and culture can't change what I believe". Did you know that serpents don't have voice boxes? Snakes don't have voice boxes. Snakes don't get loud. That's why you never see Judas in the Bible worshipping. You saw all kinds of miracles, but you never see him with his hands raised worshipping, he's a snake. Only time he uses his voice, is for social justice.
When Mary Magdalene, who had seven demons, was set free and she brought her alabaster box which was one year's worth of wages, it was what she used, the perfume to attract men because most women in that culture could not even afford or have expensive perfume. But it let all the men in the area where she was know, "I'm here. I'm here for you". One encounter with Jesus, and He cast seven demons out of her. And she comes in and she takes the alabaster box and Judas is standing in the corner and she breaks open the... She didn't pour it, she broke it. She was saying, "I'm never going to use this perfume again. I'll never crawl in bed of adultery with a man again. I'll never have sex outside of marriage again. I'm breaking this box and I'm pouring it on the feet of Jesus". And she dried His feet with her hair. And Judas, the snake, didn't worship with her. He said, "What a waste. We could do something for the poor. What a waste".
I wanna tell you, first of all, this church does a lot for the poor and the needy, and we always have, and we always will. But that is not the message of the church. The message of the church is, "Silver and gold have I none that can fix your spiritual problem but such as I have, the blood, the cross, the name, the power of the Holy Spirit, the word of God, I give it onto you. Let it change you, let it transform you, let it set you free, let it break curses. Let it break chains of addiction". This is the gospel, and it still works if we'll proclaim it. I'm for Team Heaven. You know what Jesus said, how He knows whether or not we're on Team Heaven or Team Hell, whether we're a fan of Jesus or a fan of the world, He says, "In this life," John 16:33, "In this life you will have tribulation, but be a good fan".
Good fans don't just cheer when their team's winning, but a real good fan when their team looks like they gon' lose, that's when they get, "Come on now. Come on now". And that's what He's saying. He's saying, "The way that I know which you're on is not how you do when everything's going great, but I watch what you do when you're in tribulation, when you get a bad report". Can I tell you, real fans get sick, real fans get in financial need, real fans of Jesus Christ go through calamities. Sometimes, their marriages are on the rock. Sometimes, their family is all messed up. Real fans go through tribulation, but He said, "Here's what I want you to do, and I'll know you're a real fan and I'll know you're on Team Heaven, if when you get in tribulation, be of good cheer. Keep on cheering. Keep on praising. Keep on using your voice. Keep on standing, for I have overcome the world".
That's what you call world championship, and He has won it and all I've gotta do is praise Him. Who's on the Lord's side? Even in tribulation, be of good cheer. Not suicidal, good cheer. Now, let me tell you this. When Steven was being stoned, he looked up into Heaven. And as the rocks were hitting him, the Heavens opened, and the Bible said that, "He saw Jesus standing. He got up out of His throne and was giving Him a standing ovation because when you"... Not only are we fans of Him, but He's fans of us. When we stand through tribulation, when we stand through persecution, when we stand against what we know is evil and wrong, we don't do it to say we're holier and better than you. We do it because our faith compels us to take a stand for little babies and take a stand for what is right.
He said, "I want you to know I know, Steven, by what you're going through for My name's sake, that you're a fan of me. I just wanna stand up in front of all the angels in Heaven, and I want you to know I'm a fan of you. You get a standing ovation. You got me out of my throne seat". Now, watch this. In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist said, "Verily, I say onto you. I baptize you with water under repentance but he that cometh after me is mightier than I whose shoes I'm not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost in fire". Oh-oh. Whose fan... And I know, I know, he's talking about the kinda of fan that fan the flames, but I'm gon' use it like this. Whose fan is in His hand. Can I tell you that if you stand, if you praise and lift your voice, if you are willing to go through tribulation and keep on cheering, keep on praising, keep on worshipping, he says, "I just want you to know if you're My fan, I'm your fan, and My fans are in my hands".
And then, one more last verse, John 10:28. Oh, I love this verse. Throw it up. "And I give them eternal life and they will never perish". See, I thought Team Heaven would really perk up right there, but apparently, I'm 'bout to have a big altar call in here. "And I give them eternal life and they," that's us, "Shall never perish," Oh-oh, "Neither shall anyone ever". Snatch my fan out of my hand. You may go through the fire, but it won't overtake you. And you'll go through the flood, but it won't drown you. You may go through the lion's den, but they won't eat you 'cause I've got my fans in my hand, and no Devil can pluck them out of my hand. No Devil can snatch your children out of my hand. No addiction can take your children so far. My fingers of love cannot grip them. My fans are in my hands.