John Hagee - Is Faith Important?
Is faith important for a successful life? The idea is being advanced on many fronts that faith in God is something that you can take or leave, and it makes absolutely no difference in the quality of your life. Now is that true? The Bible says, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". Say that with me. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". All that God has for you in his word is available only through the currency of faith. The Bible says, "If you can believe, all things are possible". The Bible says, "Have faith in God". Say that with me. "Have faith in God". Say it again. "Have faith in God".
Don't try to have faith in God. Have faith in God! You try broccoli. You try crunchy peanut butter. You try low-fat ice cream. It doesn't work. Faith is not an illusion. Faith is the hope that I have, based on the performance of the Word of God, as verified in the scripture. I don't have an illusionary trust. I have faith based on the substance of the Word of God. Faith is not feeling. Faith is not emotion. Feeling and emotion can walk into a hospital room and stand beside your baby while your baby dies. Faith can pray one prayer and that baby will live by the healing power of the resurrected Son of God. That's what faith can do. Webster defines faith as belief, trust, and loyalty in God.
I want to burst this theological bubble right now. Faith is not the golden rule. I'm tired of hearing Christians say, "I believe in the golden rule". The golden rule without the gospel of Jesus Christ is rubbish. And here's why. People say, "I live by the golden rule". The golden rule is that I believe in "Doing unto others what I wish that others would do unto me". That's the golden rule. So the alcoholic, who buys his alcoholic friend a drink, is practicing the golden rule. He's doing unto another what he wishes another would do unto him. He's practicing the golden rule without faith in Christ to govern his will. And without Christ to govern our will, the golden rule will turn us all into a herd of secular humanist swine, helping each other to wallow in the mud.
Mister employer, when you hire a man, does he believe in Christ or the golden rule? If he believes in the golden rule, they that have the gold make the rules, then he's going to steal you blind. Young lady, what kind of faith does the young man have that you're dating? If he believes that marriage is a life-long covenant commitment of fidelity, loyalty and love, you're going to have a happy marriage. But if he believes in the golden rule, in doing to you what he wishes that you would do to him, run while you have your honor intact! Faith is not sensation. Say that with me. Faith is not sensation. Say it another way, faith is not feeling. Faith is not an emotion. Faith is not presumption.
Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on God's part. Laying your hands on the hood of someone's Cadillac and claiming it in Jesus' name is not faith. That's presumption. And faith is not presumption. Spending yourself in deep credit card debt, and when you're six-feet over your head in bills, going to God and saying, "If you don't give me the money to pay my bills, I'm going to lose it all". Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on God's part. Faith is not presumption. What the church of Jesus Christ needs is more substance and less sensation, more discipline and less self-gratification, more holiness and less hype: more of the cross of Christ and less compromise with the world, the flesh, and the devil. And may God bring that to the church and bring it now! Give him praise and glory!
Faith is substance! Faith is tangible! Faith is the hope that I have based on what the Word of God says that I can expect God to do! What you need is solid spiritual food, and that's what the church needs to hear, not more sensational, theological cake. What the church in America needs to hear more of is preaching that's beans, cornbread, and potatoes, frijoles, fajitas, carne guisada, huevos rancheros, et cetera, et cetera. Start living by faith and quit chasing sensation. Stop looking for miracles and goose bumps and start looking for Jesus Christ, the son of the living God. And when you fall in love with the master, miracles will be a common occurrence, but they are a common occurrence because you love Jesus and not pursue the miracle!
Is faith important to the successful life? Let me ask you this question: what can be accomplished without faith? What happens to the man who loses faith in himself? What happens to the man who loses faith in God? What happens to the man who loses faith in the future? Does he sing for joy? No, because without faith in God, life makes no sense. We read in the media where the haves in their life much more often than the have NOTs. What happens to the woman, to the man that loses faith in their marriage? Do they laugh and rejoice? No. There are tears. There are sobs of agony of the soul that express that broken faith. Without faith in your marriage, your home becomes a war zone and can become hell on earth.
I ask you again: what can be accomplished without faith? Is faith important? The farmer plants his seed by faith, the faith that God will make it grow. Everyone who eats has an interest in agriculture. That means most of you. Some of you really have an interest in it. The physician makes his incision by faith, the faith that God can heal that physical body. Let me tell you something. If Jesus wasn't a healing Jesus, not one person would recover from one surgery, ever, in America, not ever. He is an was and always shall be a healing Lord! By faith, Columbus sailed west when the world said, "If you travel far enough, you'll fall off the edge of the earth".
Columbus was the first great politician. He traveled not knowing where he was going. When he got there, he didn't know where he was. When he got back, he didn't know where he had been. And he did it all on somebody else's money. By faith, Fulton built a steamship when engineers laughed at him and said, "It's absolutely impossible that such a thing can ever float". And when they started it up and started chugging down the river, an engineer standing on the riverbank said, "It'll never stop. It's too big to stop". So there you have it, one group saying, "It'll never float. It'll never fly". And when it starts working, another group says, "It'll never stop".
By faith, Thomas Edison, though he failed 1200 times, put a lightbulb together. If he hadn't, we'd still be watching television in the dark. Life without faith is impossible. The Bible says, "Have faith in God". Say it with me. "Have faith in God". Say it again. "Have faith in God". I want you to understand that faith, based on the substance of the Word of God, is tough and enduring. Faith endures the storm. Faith climbs the mountain. Faith calms the troubled sea. Faith takes you through the wilderness. Faith takes you through the valley of the shadow of death. Faith gives you an answer when nothing will give you an answer. Faith helps you keep your sanity when there is no other basis for your sanity other than the power of the living Word of God! Give him praise and glory!
Faith survives the worst of times. At the end of World War II, when the allies swept across Germany, they were searching for farms and houses where snipers were hiding. And they found an abandoned house. And in the basement, scratched in the crumbling wall was a star of David where a Jewish person had hid for months from the Nazis. And they found these words: "I believe in the sun even when it doesn't shine. I believe in love even when it's not shown. I believe in God even when he does not speak". Faith endures the tough times and the difficult moments. Some people say, "All you Christians have is faith". My reply is, "Faith is all we need to survive the storms of life". 1 John 5:4 says, "Faith is the victory that overcomes the world". Say that with me. "Faith is the victory that overcomes the world".
All things are possible to them that believe! By faith, Abraham forsook Hur, a beautiful city. And he was look for a city whose builder and maker was God. Abraham didn't understand it but he did it. By faith, Noah built an ark without the approval of Osha, without a black and decker saw, without the maritime union's approval or with a federal grant. That's a miracle. By faith, Abraham, at a hundred years of age, biologically as dead as a stump went into his 90-year-old wife, who was just as dead, and said, "Sweetheart, turn off the television. I've just been to the Sunday night prayer meeting, and God told me we're going to have a baby about this time next year". That night in that tent, sparks flew off all four sides. God cranked Abraham's dead battery, and things began to happen. And nine months later, Isaac, the son of laughter was born, because nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible to those that believe! Give him praise and glory!
The Bible says, "By faith Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice". Why? Because he believed that God would raise him from the dead off of that altar of stone if he did it! That's why Abraham became the father of many nations, because he believed God to the very end. By faith, Moses turned his back upon the crown of Egypt to identify with Jewish slaves. By faith, he marched through the Red Sea with two million of them. By faith, he struck a rock and water came from it. By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down. By faith, the sun stood still for Joshua. By faith, David killed Goliath. By faith, Daniel slept with the lions. By faith, the three Hebrew children walked into the fiery furnace and they walked out without the smell of smoke upon them. They didn't bend. They didn't bow. And they did not burn, because nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible to those that believe! Give the Lord a praise!
By faith, a simple Hebrew girl, at the age of 16, 17 or 18 named Mary, gave birth to Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, and said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior". That boy grew up and said, "For by grace are you saved through faith". By faith, when you have lived your life and you know you are living your last minutes on this planet, you can look straight into the eyes of God and say, "Open up the Pearly gates. I'm coming home. I have faith that there is a God. I have faith that there is an eternity. I have faith that I have victory over death, hell, and the grave. I have faith that I have a mansion just over the hilltop. I have faith that, on the other side, my relatives are standing there, shouting on the hills of glory! By faith, I believe that"! Give him praise and glory!
Is faith important? How do you explain creation without faith? I sat through three secular universities, listening to brilliant men try to explain how we all got here. And they finally have latched onto this "Big bang" theory! Let me ask you a question, dear professor. What caused the big bang? Faith says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth". It's that simple. I know: you're far too intellectual to believe that. You believe that in the beginning, millions of years ago, the sunlight shone upon a pool of algae, and something in that pool of algae started to wiggle about in the slime. And a few million years later, it crawled out of the slime and got onto the shore. And it learned to breathe on the land. And it climbed into a tree and hung by its tail a few million years later. And that's your great, great, great grand daddy! You believe that. I don't believe that! Look at the universe. Look at the stars that are in the heaven that declare the glory of God. Look at the sun blazing in all of its fury. The moon reflecting the glory of the sun, the seasons that follow one another, the birds in constant migration, all of this speaks of a master plan.
If there's a master plan, there is a master planner! Who is it? I know. You believe that this matchless, marvelous, miraculous-functioning universe is the result of an ecological accident. It's something like finding a Rolex watch on south Zarzamora street, and saying, "The beveled glass blew in from Pittsburgh accidentally. And the delicate spring leaped from the steal mills in Ohio accidentally. And the gold migrated alone and unassisted from South Africa by accident. And the Jewels were dropped out of the pocket of a south Zarzamora Jewel thief". And all of these ingredients leaped together. And with a twistomatic band, they tell the date and perfect time! Do you believe that? If you do, I have some ocean-front property in Arizona I want to sell you. I don't have faith enough to believe that! I believe that in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth! Give him praise and glory!
Some critics infer that they doubt, because faith is too emotional. Let me tell you something. Nothing is more emotional than doubt. I want to say that again. Nothing is more emotional than doubt. Doubt drags you into a tunnel of darkness. Doubt drags you into the abyss of depression. Doubt is the key that opens the door for fear to consume your mind. Doubt is a nightmare where weeping hearts hide behind smiling faces. Doubt is where shallow laughter hides the aching soul. And I want to tell you something. That's emotional. Nothing is more emotional than doubt! It's true.
We as Christians sometimes get deceived because we believe too much. But it is more true that we get cheated because we believe too little. God is still waiting for the man, the woman, the church, the nation that will have faith in him according to the authority of God's word. Living without faith is like driving in a fog, going through life like Mr. Magoo, blind as a bat, hoping that everything will come out alright some way. Wake up, mister. Wake up, lady. Faith is victory that overcomes the world! Faith is the substance, the solid rock upon which the church is built. Faith is the thing that will help you maintain your sanity and maintain your progress! When everything else fails, faith in God will endure the storm! Give him praise and glory!
Without faith, how do you face the future? Remember you're not going to get out of life alive. Think about that a minute. You're not going to get out of life alive. No one ever has. How bright you are, how powerful, how wealthy, some day you're going to die. What are you going to do when you step into eternity without faith in God? Faith is the most important ingredient that you will find in the Word of God. Without faith, you cannot be saved, you cannot be healed, you cannot know the power of God. Faith that you have, as a Christian, must be tested. Listen to this, child of God. How do you know how much strength your faith has? You do not know until you have been in the fiery furnace of God's testing. There are some whose faith is not strong enough to carry them to church on Sunday morning, but they expect that faith to carry them to heaven! You're living in an illusion.
If your faith can't move mountains, it at least ought to try to climb them. God sends the test to show you the true strength that you do have. A little fat puppy grows up to be a tough bulldog, because it overcomes the test of life. When you're going through a trial, don't pound your chest and look at God and say, "Why me"? God has put you in the problem so that the problem will test the quality of the strength of your faith! Have faith in God!
A rabbi, a Catholic priest, and a Baptist preacher were out trout fishing on the lake. And the rabbi forgot his rod and reel, and he walked across the water to the shore and he got it, then he walked back. The Baptist preacher's eyes were bugging out. The Catholic priest left his tackle box, and he walked to the shore, retrieved his tackle box. The Baptist preacher was just mystified. He said, "I know I have as much faith as they do. I'm going to walk to shore too". And he stepped out of the boat and sunk and almost drowned. He couldn't swim. The rabbi and the priest drug him back in the boat, and he tried again. And they pulled him out again, as he's spitting water and coughing. The rabbi says to the priest, "Do you think we ought to show him where the rocks are before the man kills himself"?
Why did God choose Abraham to be the father of many nations? Because God looked into the soul of Abraham and saw faith that would stand the test: faith that was willing to place Isaac, his only son, on the altar and lift the dagger, ready to plunge it into his heart: faith that said, if God takes him: God will raise him up. I'm going to tell you something. When I read of the faith of Abraham, it makes my faith look sick. And I've got the whole Bible and thousands of years of Christian testimony to validate the power of God. God is waiting to find a man, a woman, a church, a somebody, who will let him be God and demonstrate his power and his glory to these United States of America!
The pseudointellectual looks at Abraham and says, "That's stupid". God looks from the throne of glory and says, "That's mountain-moving faith". The question is not: do I need faith? The question is: do I have the faith in God sufficient enough to salvage my life, my marriage, to endure the storm? When my health gets into a trial, do I have faith enough to bring me the life-giving force of the healing power of the resurrected Son of God? I want to tell you this, mister. The storm will come. It will come. I want to tell you this, lady. The storm is coming. When Jesus told the parable of the man who built the house, he said, "And when the storm came". He didn't say maybe it would come. He guaranteed it. It's on the way.
And I want to tell you that without faith in God that's vibrant, fresh and full of New Testament scripture, you're finished. Is it important? You'll not survive without it. Faith demands action. "Faith without works is dead". Say that with me. "Faith without works is dead". Faith is the daring of the soul to go further than the eyes can see. I want to say that again. Faith is the daring of the soul to go further than eyes can see, to do more than carnal logic says is possible. I want you to hear this. If you have to understand it before you do it, you'll never live by faith. If the only time you obey God is when you understand God, you will never spiritually grow.
A little Mexican mother, who attended my church, had two sons that she wanted to send to college. Her husband worked as a civil servant out here at Kelly, and she wanted to send her boy to college, and there just was no money. So she got a trailer on the back of her car and started picking up the neighbor's trash and carrying it to the dump. Several of the neighbors liked that, so she got two trailers. More neighbors liked that, so she bought a truck and started doing it. When she got a truck, she got a man to help throw in the trash. You know men have to submit to the leadership of the woman. She was driving. He was throwing on the trash. Then she got two trucks. Now she's making more money than her husband. She got four trucks. She got eight trucks. She bid for the city contract in her town of live oak. She got that. And the Gutiérrez garbage company was created that became worth millions of dollars, because one little Mexican mother said, "Jesus, help me educate my boy and send him to college".
Nothing is impossible if you'll believe God to get behind you and fill with you hope and inspiration to reach for the greatness that God has for you! You can believe for anything. You can believe for anything! You can believe for marriage harmony. You can believe for your prodigal son or your prodigal daughter to come home. You can believe that God can deliver you from addictive habits of drugs and alcohol and nicotine. And some of you are looking at me and said, "Not ever". I assure you that there are dozens of people, who are in this room right now, who walked in here one day totally feathered by drugs and alcohol and nicotine, and they are set free! For whom the son sets free is free indeed! Give him praise and glory!