John Hagee - Seven Kinds of People God Cannot Save
There are seven kinds of people God cannot save. I want you to listen closely, because everybody who's going to church is not going to heaven. The Bible says, Jesus speaking, that on the day of judgment many will come to me in that day saying, "Have we not cast out demons in your name? Have we not done miracles in your name? Have we not done all these wonderful things in your name? And Jesus is going to say, "Depart from me, worker of iniquity: I never knew you". Now think about that. Because some day, I'm going to give an answer to God for you about what I taught you out of this book. And I want you to be able to stand at the judgment seat of Christ where all believers are going to stand, fully appraised of everything God wanted believers to know about his infinite grace and the absolute possibility of judgment. Listen very closely, because this could change your life forever.
Luke 18:9 through 14, read, "Also he spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a pharisee: and the other, a tax collector. The pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank you that I not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even tax collectors. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector standing afar off would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breasts, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you this man went down to the house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. And he who humbles himself will be exalted".
Father, thank you for your word. Let us hear it today and let it change our lives forever. Amen.
You may be seated. First, God cannot save the self-righteous. Say that with me, God cannot save the self-righteous. Notice the phrase, "They trusted in themselves that they were righteous". The Bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not to your own understanding". The point is, when you trust in yourself, you become your own God. You don't need God: therefore, God cannot save you. Jesus told this story to the pharisees because they fasted at least one day a week. They tithed up to 30% of all of their income. That's far better than 80% of you do. Jesus said, "Except your righteousness exceeds that of the pharisees, you shall not inherit the kingdom of God". Listen. "For prostitutes will enter the kingdom before you do. You are of your father, the devil".
As Jesus told this story, the rage and the anger was stirred up among these self-righteous pharisees. truth always unsettles those who are self-righteous. It pierces the pompous like a pin pops a balloon. It's a two-edged sword. There are people who are religious but don't have righteousness. There are people who master ritual but do not know Jesus Christ. They have a profession of faith but do not possess faith. They are what the Bible says, "Clouds without rain, wells without water, trees without fruit". The self-righteous hate this story. It's their portrait. And in large, it's the portrait of the American church in the 21st century. It's the God of self. That's America's favorite idol right now, me, my, what I want for me. Meet the pharisee in this story.
The word "Pharisee" means "Separate". And they did separate themselves from the rest of society. They were, as a group, conceded, arrogant, pompous, self-righteous, holier than thou, judgmental, mean-spirited, scripture-quoting, pompous wind bags of the highest order. And those were their good points. Literally some of them carried swords. And if you disagreed with them doctrinally, they would harm you. You're a pharisee when you have a critical spirit towards Holy Spirit manifestations. Listen to this very closely. You are a pharisee when you have a critical spirit toward Holy Spirit manifestations. The Holy Spirit is God. Don't refer to the Holy Spirit as "It". The Holy Spirit is "He," good the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You want a relationship with God that you can control. And I'm talking to some of you eyeball to eyeball right now.
The Holy Spirit wants you to have a relationship of wind and fire that was manifests in Acts 2, and you're afraid of it. You feel it's for others but it's not for you. You're too sophisticated to lift your hands in prayer in submission to the Lord of glory. You're too sophisticated to clap your hands and make a joyful noise unto the Lord, as the word of God says, "O clap your hands all ye people. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph". "You shall receive power after that the holy ghost has come upon you," the Book of Acts says. Lord God of heaven, baptize cornerstone church with the wind and fire of Pentecost that sinners be converted and your name be glorified in this earth! Give the Lord praise in the house of God!
Now let's meet the publican. He's a tax collector. He's a Jewish man, who worked directly for the Roman government on a percentage. Say, irs. Yeah. These publicans, tax collectors, worked with the Roman government. They knew just about what you made. And they extorted from other Jews and took that money from them and gave Rome a portion, but they became extremely wealthy at the expense of their fellow Jews. If you were a Jew and you touched a tax collector in a public place, you had three responsibilities. One, spit in disgust. Go home and immediately bathe, and then burn the clothes you were wearing when you touched that miserable wretch.
Notice the publican's prayer. He stood afar off. It was not for show, because he wanted to talk just between God and himself. This was not a performance. This is a confession of faith. He did not lift his eyes toward heaven, because he didn't feel that he was worthy to look God in the eye. He smote his breasts, which is the Jewish expression of deep sorrow and remorse for his sin. The Bible says, "Blessed are those who mourn: for they shall be comforted". Mourn for what? Sin. When I was younger, in the church there was an altar from one side to the other. For you younger generation, it was called "The mourner's bench". Mourn for what? It's where people gave their hearts to Christ, confessed their sins, and they wept because they were sorry for their sin.
That's what a mourner's bench is about. If there were more mourning benches in the churches of the United States of America, they'd be fewer tears in the streets of America. Listen closely. The Greek reading of this text, "God be merciful to me, the sinner". Not a sinner but the sinner. He's saying, I am the worst of the worst, and I am here pleading for mercy. The word "Mercy" here refers to blood atonement. Follow this: on the day of atonement, the high priest took the blood of the lamb and he sprinkled it over the gold-covered mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. Follow this: in the ark of the covenant was the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments were the law. According to the law, the publican deserved to die, but he was pleading for mercy. The fact is you can't know the love of God without the law of God. Listen. When the high priest sprinkled blood on the mercy seat, God in heaven had to look through the blood to see the law, because the blood guarantees that you, and you, and you, and you, and I receive mercy from God every time we pray. Give the Lord praise in the house.
Our world believes the guy who gets advancement is the guy who's faster, quicker, meaner, tougher, cheats more, cuts the corners, doesn't do anything with integrity. But in the kingdom of God, by lowering yourself, you rise to your potential. "He that is abased shall be exalted". Say that with me. "He that is abased shall be exalted". John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease". By taking last place, God will put you in first place. Through death, you receive life. By giving, you have great gain. That just does not compute in the secular mind. But I can guarantee you after 60 years of doing it, if you really want to prosper, just try out giving God. Through the cross, comes the crown. The pharisee left the church a sinner. And the sinner left the church a saint. Where are you in this picture, because you're certainly there?
Secondly and quickly, God cannot save those who will not believe. John 12:37, "But although he had done many signs before them, they did not believe in him". The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved". Say that with me. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved". If a man does not believe, is he to blame? Yes, if he refuses to accept and to hear the word of God. When I was in graduate school, a professor said to me on one occasion, "I'm a scientist and I only believe in what I can see". He knew I was a preacher. And I said, "Really? Do you believe in atoms"? "Yes," he said, "Because all science is built around the atomic structure". I said, "Show me one". Um. Can you see energy? No. Can you see electricity? No. Can you see gravity? Can you see an idea? Can you see an invisible God? I don't see him now, but the day is going to come when I see him face to face. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I can promise you after following him faithfully for more than 60 years, he will never fail you. You will fail him many times, but he will never fail you the first time.
Thirdly, God cannot save those who try to come to salvation another way. John 5:39, "Search the scriptures. They will testify of me. But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life". Jesus said, "I am the door and no man comes to the father but by me". "There is no other name given among men whereby we might be saved other than that of Jesus Christ". Buddha cannot save you. Muhammad cannot save you. Mary cannot save you. Wealth, power, and intellect cannot save you. You are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. You are redeemed by the authority of his name. You're going to heaven because you made Jesus Christ Lord of your life! Give him praise in the house of God!
Fourthly, God cannot save the hypocrite. Matthew 23:13, "Woe unto the pharisees and hypocrites: for you shut out the kingdom of heaven against men. For you neither go in yourselves and you neither allow others to enter in". "A hypocrite" translation is "Play acting". You pretend to be one thing on Sunday, and you're something else Monday through Saturday. Hum. You talk purity, but you're addicted to pornography and smutty jokes. You talk loyalty, but you cheat on your wife. You talk about giving. But if others gave like you, they'd be a for sale sign in the front yard of this church. You're a hypocrite. There are two kinds hypocrite. The non-church hypocrite, "I don't need to go to church to find God". The Bible says, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves". Why did God build a tabernacle for the children of Israel? "That I might dwell with them there". Not somewhere, but "There". The question: if you won't go to God's house, why should he take you to his house? That makes you think about it. If you can't stand church for 90 minutes on Sunday morning, how are you going to do an eternity of all that singing and shouting and praising God? You'll go crazy. Heaven will be hell for you. So we're just not going to take you.
Five, God cannot save those that blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Listen closely. Matthew 12:31, 32, "Wherefore, I say unto you, all manner of sin shall be forgiven. But blasphemy against the holy ghost shall not be forgiven men". The fact is some of you blaspheme the name of God the father. If you mock the works of the Holy Spirit, God said, I'm not forgiving you of that. And that is the unpardonable sin. You be very careful when you open your mouth to criticize a genuine move of God. You're walking on very dangerous ground.
God cannot save someone after they die. I've had people say, "Pastor, pray for my dad, my mom, my brother, my sister: they died yesterday". I'm sorry. But all the prayers of all the saints of the earth cannot help you after you die. Your eternal destiny is made on this side of the Jordan river. There is no purgatory! That's just a financial arrangement that has nothing to do with salvation.
In closing, God cannot save an apostate. Listen to this. One of the most powerful verses in the New Testament, 2 Peter 2:20, "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". Translation: they are saved. That takes a long while to say, "Saved". I'm going to say that again. After they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are redeemed, they are again entangled in the world and they overcome," meaning they backslide and they stay backslidden. Listen. "The latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. It has happened to them according to the proverb. A dog has returned to his own vomit and a sow that has been washed to her wallowing in the mire".
That's a graphic, gripping picture. Said in a snapshot, you play games with God. You come in and pretend to be redeemed. You pretend to have salvation. You go through the baptism experience. For a season, you pretend that you are saved. And then you go into the world and you abandon the house of God. You begin to use God's name in vain again and tell the smutty jokes you used to tell. And your sexual life becomes corrupt. And everything else comes off the hinges. They are consumed by a loveless nature. 1 John 4:7 says, "Beloved, let us love one another: for he who does not love does not know God". Hear that. "For he who does not love does not know God: for God is love".
Is this you? Is this you? Some of you have spiritual vaccinations. You've got just enough of God to keep you from getting the real deal. Are you an apostate? Are you playing games with God? Are you judgmental of other people? Are you professing a righteous life that you're not actually living? Be very, very careful. God in heaven is recording every thought, every word, and every deed. And you and I are going to answer for that at the judgment seat of Christ. Can we stand together and bow our heads in the presence of the Lord? How many of you in this room with your heads bowed, can say, "Pastor, I have become a loveless person. I have walked away from the love of God," or "In my past, I have been hurt, I have been abused, I have been rejected, and my soul has become bitter and skeptical. And today, I want to return to the love of God".
If that describes you here, would you had just lift your hand right where you are? God bless you and God bless you. And God bless you. And God bless you. In the balcony, God bless you. God bless you. Some of you have become fault finders. You're proud. You're arrogant. And you look at other people in a judgmental way. You are the king of pharisees. Stop it! If that describes you, lift your hand. Now I want every one of you, who lifted your hand, to join me right here. And we're going to have a prayer. And when we have this prayer, God in heaven is going to dump the blood of Jesus Christ over your records, and they'll be cleansed, purified instantly.
As they sing, will you come, please? I need thee come now. Oh I need thee come if you raised your hand. Every hour I need thee oh bless me now my Savior come. I'll wait for you. I'll wait for you. I come to thee come from the balcony. We'll wait for you. I need thee oh I need thee every hour I need thee oh bless me now this is your day! My Savior this is your day. I come to thee keep coming. I want you to pray this prayer with me. And I want the conGregation to join me. And I want those of you who are watching in the United States of America, those of you who are watching in south America, in Canada, in Europe, and all over the world, the word of God is eternal. It's international. It's global. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of repentance and return to the God of our fathers. Pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, I come before you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to confess my sin. I have been a pharisee. And from this day forward, I'm going to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm going to let him be the Lord of my life. I'm going to read and believe the Bible. From this moment forward, Jesus is Lord of my life. And I will show his love. I will speak of his love: for God is love. And they that have not love have not God. And I want God, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit with all of my heart, soul, mind, and body. Amen.