John Hagee - Blessed Are The Peacemakers
Jesus was a peacemaker. When he was born, the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men"! Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. And you can't be a peacemaker until you have discovered the source of lasting peace. And the source of lasting peace is only found in Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "And now, in Christ Jesus you who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ, for he is our peace". Say that with me. "He is our peace". How desperately we search for peace. Peace is precious. You may be wealthy, but without the peace of Christ, you are a miserable wretch. You may have talent, you may have power, you may have fame, you may have beauty, but without the peace of God, your life is a living hell. Peace is found in reconciliation with God. Paul said, "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God," Romans 5:1. "We have peace with God".
Notice the sequence. We are first justified by faith, and then we have peace with God. There can be no peace of mind until there is peace with God. In the hearts of every man, woman, boy and girl, whether you live on main street or in the Amazon, there lurks a sense of inner wrongness and a conscience that will not be silenced when God's law is violated. Think about that. It's called a sense of guilt, a sense of guilt. You can try to sweep it under the rug, you can take your conscience off to the seashore and try to drown it. You can go to some Shangri-la, a perfect place, but there's not a place you can forget it. You cannot go far enough to escape yourself. You cannot go far enough to escape yourself. The person you see when you look in the mirror is the person that's destroying your peace. You can't drink enough whiskey, you can't shoot enough drugs, you can't take enough pills to silence your conscience. It's constantly there, reminding you you're living outside the law of God. Are you looking for peace? Then stop fighting God. Quit trying to justify your Godless conduct. Call it what it is, sin. Confess it, and it's over with! Give the Lord praise in the house!
The Bible says, "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". Aren't you tired of being unhappy? Aren't you? Aren't you tired of a meaningless and empty life? Aren't you tired of tossing on your bed at night? Jesus Christ is the answer. He is our peace. He is our peace. Turn off the fake news, read the good news, and suddenly, you start feeling good about the world tomorrow. People who have a Bible that's wearing out, have a life that's not. Peace is found in responsibility. Peace is found in responsibility. There must come a time in your life when you take responsibility for who you are, for the choices that you have made. Responsibility is facing, not fleeing, the risk and the task of life.
Winston Churchill, who was truly the Savior of western civilization, said, "Responsibility is the key to greatness". Responsibility is the key to greatness. Peace comes from righteousness. King David said, in Psalms 85:10, one of his most profound statements, "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other". Get that verse. "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other". In the Hebrews, Jesus is first presented as the king of righteousness. And after that, he is the king of peace. You want to feel good? Then be good. Live righteously. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you".
That's God's word. God wants you to have peace, but you have to do it God's way. Can I hear an amen? But has it ever Dawned on you, have you ever thought about the fact that a peacemaker cannot function without a climate of conflict? You cannot function without a climate of conflict. Many Christians pray for a life where there is no conflict,. There is no battle, there is no strife, there is no clash, there is no collusion. If that was true, there wouldn't be no need for peacekeepers. If everything is perfect all the time, a peacekeeper and peacemaker wouldn't be necessary. Quit worrying about the discord and start being a peacemaker. Because they're especially needed now.
Quit praying for an easy life. Start praying to be a stronger person. Start praying to be a bridge builder. Start praying to be God's solution, not part of the problem. You, dear hearts, are the light of the world. But only if the switch is turned on! No lamp is worth its salt until you turn that little knob and that light comes on. You should be more than just a blob of protoplasm existing on planet earth. You should radiate the light of Jesus Christ that brings the world to the saving knowledge that Jesus is the only answer, he is our only hope. He is wiser than the wisest. He's stronger than the strongest. He is the Prince of Peace. Give the Lord praise in the house.
A peacemaker is not a compromiser. Peace won by compromising godly principles is not peace. When you sacrifice godly principles for other people, it's cowardice. In the courts of heaven, it's treason. And those are harsh words for our generation, or maybe your generation, if you're under 50. But I assure you that's God's word. The Bible says, "Know you not that he who is a friend of the world is the enemy of God". Know you not that he who is a friend of the world is the enemy of God. And you don't want to be the enemy of God. Compromising godly principles is treason in the courts of heaven. There's no such thing as a worldly Christian. You might as well talk about a heavenly devil. There's no such thing. If you have peace, won through compromise, you don't have peace, you have an illusion. You have deception. You have fraud.
A peacemaker is not an appeaser. You can postpone conflict by appeasement, but this will not bring peace. On our first trip to Israel in 1978, our group was put on a bus with another group from another state that I won't mention, because we have a lot of television partners over there now. And we were on that bus because we had only 18 people in our group on a trip that I planned in about two weeks. And it takes about six months to do that right, and my wife did the next one, and that one went very well, but this one was... We didn't know any better, so we were there, and we were on a bus with another group from another state, with two of the crabbiest women I have ever seen in my life. Nag, nag, nag. From the time they got on, until the time we got off.
One day, we were going to the Sea of Galilee, and they argued for an hour over whether the bus windows should be put up or down. One said, "If it's down, I'll die with pneumonia". The other said, "If it's up, I'll die from suffocation". Back and forth, put the window up, put the window down, put the window up, put the window down. After about 30 minutes of that, I hit my grace Mark. It's over. I stepped across the aisle, being the natural born peacemaker I am. And I said, "Ladies, I have a solution". And they looked at me hopefully. I said, "Why don't you put the window down until she dies from pneumonia? And then I'll close it until she dies from suffocation. And then we'll have peace on this bus". They were instantly quiet for the rest of the journey.
A peacemaker has to be confrontational. Nothing is settled until it's settled right. If you have a boil, you can't cure it by ignoring it. A surgeon's lance must cut it and allow the poison to escape. Misunderstandings, hurt feelings, suspicions that are allowed to fester will become emotional boils. Don't just face your problem, attack your problem. Every hour you let it go, the solution becomes more painful. I know some parents who refuse to confront their children, because they don't want to tell the little tyrant "No". That is a word in the English language, and your child should fully understand that word. I assure you, mine did.
I know people dodging other people because of misunderstanding or conflict. Don't dodge. Confront. I know husbands and wives who refuse to confront their spouses because they lack the courage to openly discuss the deep inner conflicts that make their home a war zone. It's not going to be over until you confront it. Listen to me, lady. Silence is not peace. Mister, you know that argument that you won with your wife last night? It's not over. It is not over, by any stretch of the imagination. "Pastor, I can't talk about these things with my wife" or "My husband". Oh, yes, you can. Suck up your courage, put on your baseball catcher's mask and say, "Let's talk". Say, "Sweetheart, I think you're spending too much money. Just because there are checks in the checkbook does not mean there's money in the bank". Or "Sweetheart, I'm not criticizing your housekeeping, but Tarzan could get hurt in here".
Don't be afraid. A peacemaker is the person whose spirit is controlled by the Holy Spirit. He or she has mourned over their sin. They have received the meekness of Christ. They have hungered and thirst after righteousness. Their heart is pure and they're ready to demonstrate that they are a child of God by making the peace. A peacemaker is a major league Christian. A peacemaker is a major league Christian. Peacemakers are free of the God of self. If you're worried about protecting yourself, or shielding yourself, or being rejected, you'll never be a peacemaker. You need to go back to the step one of these beatitudes, "Blessed are the poor in spirit".
When your spirit has been totally crucified, you see the need for peace, you're willing to put your friendship on the line to make something and healing power come about. Jesus said, "He that loves his life shall lose it". If you love yourself, you cannot be a peacemaker. If you love yourself, you cannot be a peacemaker. The peacemaker seeks the glory of God. The Bible says, "All that you do, do to the glory of God". What is your witness to the world? If we, the children of God, are as vicious and as unforgiving as they are, they certainly don't want what we have. The Bible says that the world may know that you are mine, walk together in the unity of the faith.
Do you stop to think what kind of power Christianity would have if we weren't divided into 70 denominations in this country? Some of them, which fight each other tooth and tongue much harder than they fight the devil. If we were all unified under Christ, and observant just to the basic principles of righteousness in the Bible, we would have leadership in this country that would be righteous, and holy, and truthful, and power not that group of thugs we have right now. You may keep the peace without having peace. The absence of strife is not peace. The absence of strife is not peace. When I was a boy in the country, my dad had two hounds that loved to fight each other. My dad was a hunter. And you could turn those dogs loose in the woods, and brother, they could fight anything that was out there. And they enjoyed it.
But when we brought them home, we put them in a pen. But we had to keep those two dogs separate, because they would fight each other. And after the fight, they laid down in the green grass. And if you had walked by right then, you would have said, "What a peaceful and serene thing that is". But that was not the truth. The truth is, they were just too tired to fight. And that is with human beings. Sometimes the dimension of peace that you think is peace, they're just too tired to fight. You have to recognize, you have to solve that problem. I know some Christians that have fought until they are exhausted. Not at the devil, but at each other.
Now all they do is go to church and snarl. The usher puts them in the wrong place. They sing the wrong songs. The sermon was too long. They sow discord. Leaving, they say, "Did you hear what he said today? Do you believe that"? Question: did you know there are things that God hates? Proverbs 6 says, "Six things does the Lord hate, yes, are seven are an abomination to him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and he that sows discord among the brethren. The Lord detests discord in his body". Jesus said, "He that gathereth not with me scatters abroad". Jesus declared that all those who make for strife and discord are fighting against him. That means the people in Washington are fighting against the will and the Word of God. They are at war with God when they say, "We're going to have abortions on demand". When they say, "We're going to allow everything in the public schools that will be pleasing to a communist," that's what they're allowing.
Whoever nurses hatred and bitterness in his heart, and spreads it to the body of Christ, is doing the work of Satan himself. Whoever makes it easy for men and women to be suspicious of one another, to mistrust one another, to foster tension and division and discord is the enemy of God. Some maintain peace by intimidation. I know husbands who intimidate their wives by yelling. Don't raise your hand. They intimidate their wives by yelling. When the wife rebuts their infinite wisdom, their brain goes into neutral, and they start screaming. And they pout for about two or three weeks. That's not peace. That's mental cruelty. It's Godless, it's sin and it's wrong. Stop it. I know wives who intimidate their husband with tears. When they start to have a meaningful conversation that gets close to the heart, she turns on the waterworks.
The message: you're getting too close to the truth. If you keep coming, I'm going to cry all over you. That's not peace. The Bible calls that manipulation, and the word the Bible uses is witchcraft. Some maintain peace by indifference, no matter what happens, it's not their problem. Consider the desperate need for peacemakers in the home. The American home is torn by divorce, drink, drug, delinquency, child abuse. Who, in your house, is strong enough to make the peace in the church, in the nation? Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah, it was a hugely sinful community, to see if God would save that city, because of ten righteous people.
Let me tell you something. America is just as sin sick as Sodom and Gomorrah. We are a society rotting from within. With transsexual operations, abortion, murder, rape, incest, child abuse, drugs, greed, Godless, the murder of policemen, and on and on it goes. If America needs anything in the church, and in the street, it is the peacemaker. God is looking for peacemakers in the home, in the church and in the nation. And this final beatitude, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". This is the final beatitude. Today there's little persecution in America for practicing religious freedom. But there are people listening to this telecast who are meeting in a secret basement somewhere. If they are discovered, their pastor will go to prison for six months on his first offense, and then for the rest of his life on the second offense.
The underground churches who suffer persecution every day, their pastors are seeking the perfect will of God. Brothers and sisters in Christ, those of you who are watching right now in an atmosphere of persecution, I want you to know that the body of Christ at Cornerstone Church is praying for you. We're uplifting you to the Lord. We have not forgotten you. Press on. The king is coming. Jesus Christ was persecuted by the government. He was beaten by a Roman cat-of-nine-tails. He was called someone who worked miracles by demon power. He had a crown of thorns, a brutal crucifixion. Peter was crucified upside down. Simon was sawed in half. One disciple was placed in boiling oil. Bartholomew was skinned alive. Paul was beheaded by Rome. That's persecution. Not being able to get out first from the parking lot is not persecution.
Persecution in America is when someone walks into your church, and tries to shoot you while you're preaching the Word of God. That's happened here. Persecution is when the media slanders all that you do in an effort to crush your influence for Christ. People will lie about you. The press will lie about you. If America does not return to righteousness, if America does not have a change in leadership, we will see persecution in America in the church. You will see persecution of Bible preaching pastors, who will be slandered by the media or sent to jail. Socialism and Christianity are enemies. Listen. Socialism and Christianity are enemies. They cannot coexist. And Christianity, from this house, is not going to bow its knee to socialism.
May God add his blessing to the teaching of his holy word, as we have gone through these beatitudes that Jesus gave to the church, statements of spiritual conduct that he expects for the righteous to have. I know there are times you're saying, "I wonder when these are going to end"? But I want to tell you, the day you look Jesus in the eye, you're going to be glad you heard this. You're going to be glad you heard this. You're in this room right now, and you're searching for peace. You're searching for peace in your heart, in your family, in your life. I want you to slip your hand up right now, because we want to pray with you. Be honest. You're searching for peace right now. I want everybody in the congregation to pray this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you, as the Prince of Peace, to come into my life today. You know the strife I experience. You know the peace that I need. And I ask you now, as the Prince of Peace, to invade my heart, soul, mind and body: to bring peace into my personal life. In the precious name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, I receive God's eternal peace, in Jesus' name. Amen.