John Hagee - The Eternal Question
Today, "The eternal question" from Mark 8:36 and 37. We live in a world of urgent questions. There are unfair questions that wives ask their husband. They go to the closet and put on a brand new dress, stand in front of you, and ask, "Do I look fat in this"? A second question: do I look as good as I used to? Give me a break. Nobody looks as good as they used to. The fact is God made man before woman to give man the time to think of the answer the first woman was going to ask. Eve asked Adam, "Do you love me only, Adam"? And Adam responded, "Who else, Eve: who else"? Today, "The eternal question". Read with me Mark 8:36 and 37: for what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Father God, today thank you for your word. And help us today examine our own soul to see if we ourselves are worthy to be counted as a child of God. In Jesus' name, we pray and ask it. And all of God's children said, amen.
The Bible is full of very urgent questions. The first question God asked Adam and Eve when they had sinned, "Adam, where art thou"? How many of you know that when God is asking you a question, he's not looking for information: he knows? Sin had separated them from God. God gave them one rule to keep and they broke that. Then we got Ten Commandments and we broke those. Now we have a million laws and they're so chaotic: no one really knows what the law actually is. God's question to America: "Who is on the Lord's side"? God is saying to his church, "Come out from among them and be ye separate," saith the Lord. "Touch not the evil thing". You are salt and light. We are not here to co-exist with evil: we're here to conquer it. Paul said we are in a fight: therefore, "Fight the good fight". "Endure to the end as a good soldier of Jesus Christ".
God is asking this nation: where are you America? I think God has given us a second chance. But I assure you we better wake up and take advantage of it, because we are becoming the Laodicean Church, and God will spew us out of his mouth. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to be the blood-bought church, to be the church that's separated from the world, to be the church that preaches the Gospel and practices the Gospel. We are the body of Christ and the victory is ours over the world, the flesh and the devil. Give him praise in the house of God.
The second question that God asked in the Bible is, "Where is Abel your brother"? I'm going to talk some about this next week. But the point I'm making is, here he said, "His blood cries out to me from the ground". This second question makes it very clear that blood makes an audible petition to God constantly. Every murderer will spend eternity in the chambers of hell with those words ringing in his ears. "The blood of your brother cries out from the ground". Every doctor and every nurse that commits abortion in a clinic of America will stand before God charged with murder in the first degree.
The third question is, this is Job's question. "If a man dies, will he live again"? Jesus answered that question when he rose from the dead on the third day, and said, "Because I live, you shall also live". "He that believeth in me shall never die". If that was the only message of Christianity, it would make it the greatest message on planet earth. We are going to live forever in the paradise that God has created. Happy day! Happy day! Happy day! It's going to be a reality.
The fourth question is the question of the Philippian jailer to Paul whenever Paul and Silas had been beaten in the jail, and they prayed, and God sent angels around that jail. The first jailhouse rock was in the book of acts. It wasn't in tennessee. The jailer said, "What must I do to be saved"? And Paul answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved". There is one light and his name is Jesus. There is one lamb for sinners slain. His name is Jesus. There is one Lord of glory. There is one lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is his name. He is the way. He is the truth. And he is the light. Jesus Christ is our burden bearer. He is the fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins. He is the friend that will never leave you nor forsake you even to the ends of the earth. "Call upon him," he said, "And I will show you great and mighty things that you know not". Give the Lord praise in the house of God.
Now we come to the question of the text. It's the question every person here must answer. "What will a man or a woman give in exchange for their soul"? When you stand before God on the Day of Judgment, God is not going to ask you how much money you made, how many degrees you've earned, where you lived, what was your social standing, what were your professional accomplishments. He could care less. He's going to ask you, "What was your relationship with my Son Jesus Christ"? "What will you give in exchange for your soul"? It's a question that you must answer today or on Judgment Day. But I assure you, you will answer that question. This question must be answered because your soul is immortal. There was a day when you were not. But there will never be a day when you will not be.
When Alexander the Great ruled the world, you were not. When the Romans ruled mighty Rome, and the gladiators fought to the death, you were not. When Columbus discovered the New World, you were not. When the founding fathers drafted the constitution, of the United States of America, you were not. But there will never be a day where you will not be somewhere. One million years, ten million years, fifty million years, from this moment, you will be alive and well either in the splendor of heaven or in the chambers of an eternal hell. That's God's opinion. I know everyone that dies in the express news goes to heaven. But here's God's express news: that's not how it works out.
The eternal question: What shall it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul? Only Jesus could answer this question, because he alone knows the value of the world. He and his Father created it in the Genesis of time. And there is something else he knows that you do not know. He knows how long eternity is going to be without God. Your mind cannot fathom a million years, a hundred million years, two hundred million years. Eternity has no end. But God stacks the treasures of earth in a scale. And on the other side of the scale, he places the human soul. And he says, the man who would trade his soul for all the wealth in the world has been a fool.
According to the scripture, 70 years of your life is a vapor. It's a puff of a steam kettle. Another verse says that it's like grass that's cut down in the morning and withers before the noonday hour. So when you wake up in eternity, you're going to wake up in a place where you're going to be forever, and forever, and forever, and forever, and forever, and forever. And forever. Where will you be?
Consider the value of your soul. The value of your soul brought Jesus Christ, the crowned prince of glory, to leave the splendor of heaven to a stinking cave in Bethlehem to be born with cows, goats and donkeys, to redeem you, and you, and you, and me. The value of your soul forced him to allow Herod's men of war to spit on him, to mock him, to slap his face, to place a purple robe on his back, and put a crown of thorns on his head, and press it so that the blood would drip down his face. The value of your soul drove him to Pilate's whipping post to be beaten to a bloody pulp for our healing. The value of your soul compelled him to carry his blood-soaked cross to the summit of Calvary to allow them to drive nails in his hands and his feet, and to lift his blood-soaked face toward heaven. And listen to his sob, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"? He bled and he died to save your soul from eternal damnation.
The Bible says, "For this cause came Christ into the world to destroy the works of the devil". He didn't come along to get along with everyone who was here. If Jesus got along with everyone who was here, how did he manage to get himself crucified? Think about that. Jesus Christ was murdered by the Roman government because he was considered an insurrectionist too dangerous to live. Dangerous, yes! The man could feed an army out of one boy's sack lunch. He could raise the dead. He could heal. He could Marshall a group from Galilee and become an absolute threat to the presence of Rome in the Holy Land.
But the last command he gave to his church was not, "Go ye into all the world and take up swords and fight people". It was, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature". "Go to Jerusalem, go to Samaria, go to the uttermost parts of the earth". Don't ask people to believe in what you believe. Ask them to believe in me. The purpose of the church is not to pacify the people in the church. In America, the church for some have become a religious retirement center. This is not a retirement center: this is a recruiting center for the army of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are in a war with radical Islam, but the majority of our leadership is too politically correct to admit we have a problem. Ladies and gentlemen of America, wake up to the reality that this precious nation that we love, which we enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there are religious lunatics that want to destroy us. Let us unite, let us identify them, and drive them out of this nation! The church is a hospital for the wounded. It's a place of rest for the broken, the rejected, the hurting. From the gutter most to the uttermost, God can save. His grace is greater than all of your sin.
If that's not right, there's not a word of truth in this book. Hear me. We are losing the culture war for the soul of America. Is there an answer for America? Yes. It is the preaching and the practice of the Word of God. This is the cure! This is the penicillin shot for what ails America. And tragically, in most pulpits today, hearing some message of celestial peace and joy where you don't confront anything that's wrong, you just kind of go with the flow: if you don't confront your sin, you can't confess your sin. And you have to admit that there is sin. And the Bible says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive our self and the truth is not in us".
Jesus had a sermon series on the lost: the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost boy, the prodigal, and the lost elder brother. Let's talk about the lost sheep. The lost sheep was not lost because of its plotting and cunning to avoid the leadership of the shepherd. Sheep are basically stupid. Sheep are blind. They're defenseless. The only thing they can do, as a lion rips their throat out, is to bleat. The sheep was lost because of his careless meandering. It fell into a deep ditch. The bleating voice, nothing more than a lunch bell for a lion.
Some of you in this audience are out of touch with God because of your foolish meandering, your foolish choices. And choices have consequences. And you're out of touch with God because of your choices. When Jesus saw people without a sheep, the Bible says, "He was moved with compassion". That's a very weak sentence in the English. In the Greek text, it says, "His bowels were wrenched with emotion". Translation: it broke his heart. Why? Because a sheep without a shepherd is going to be killed and be killed soon. His instruction to the shepherd: you have a hundred sheep. Ninety-nine of them are safe in the fold. Leave the ninety-nine and go find that lost one. Search in the night. Search in the storm. Search in the cold. Don't come back without that lost sheep.
The attitude of the average church member in America is please focus all on my need, psycho analyze my sin. Call it a problem: don't you dare call it sin or I'll go to another church. Preacher, I know I haven't witnessed for Christ in years, and I haven't been to church in months, and I haven't prayed a prayer for my lost relatives. But I'm telling you, you better start thinking about it, because the day is going to come, according to the Word of God, when God's going to hold you accountable for them. If you have the opportunity to testify to them and you do not, the Bible very clearly says, "I will hold their blood on your hands". That's not my opinion: that's God's opinion.
Wake up, church. "The soul that sinneth will surely die". Don't you ever forget it: people without Christ do not go to heaven. Consider the lost coin. The coin was not lost in that it had ceased to be silver. It still belonged to the master of the house. But the coin was lost in that it was out of circulation. And being out of circulation, it rendered no service. It was useless. Some of you are saved as far as heaven is concerned, but you're useless to the Kingdom of God because you're out of circulation. You used to be a volunteer. You used to sing in the choir. You used to be a Sunday school teacher. You used to do this. You used to do that. You used to be a cell group leader. You used to. You used to. I encourage you to find a place of ministry and purpose in the body of Christ, and do it with all of your heart, soul, mind, and body. You will find out how exciting life can really be. You'll meet some of the most wonderful people in the world and some of the strangest folks that breathe air. But they all belong to Jesus.
The lost boy, the prodigal, I say this in closing, it's obvious he's lost. He's lost, left his father's house, and went into the far country. He wasted his life. He wasted his fortune. He went to his father and said, "Give me"! He came home, saying, "Make me". He left home saying, "Daddy-o". He came home with a smell of hogs on him, saying, "Oh daddy". He left home looking for pleasure and power. He came home penniless and putrid, stinking like swine. He left home a son and he came back begging to be a slave. He was in open rebellion to the will of his father.
In this audience and some watching by television across America, your prodigal sons and daughters, you left the home of a righteous father to do your thing. I'm here to tell you, you will not have one happy day until you return to your father's house and make it right, because your father is your spiritual authority. And you need to be in authority to your father if he's a righteous man. Do you have a son or a daughter without Christ, a father, a mother without Christ, a wife or a husband without Christ? In the Bible, they are the walking dead. The Bible says, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life. But he that believeth not is dead already". He can be physically alive, but the walking dead are in this service.
You're watching by television. When you see your sons, your daughters, your fathers, your mothers, your brothers or sisters without Christ as among the walking dead, don't just forget it: remember that without Jesus Christ, you're going to stand into an eternity of which there is no end. It's a place of horror. It's a place of weeping. It's a place of torment. It's a place without rest. It's a place of everlasting destruction. And you choose to go there because you reject Jesus Christ.
How long is eternity? If I had a silk handkerchief in my hand and it would never wear out, and one time every thousand years, I dragged it across mount everest, thousands of feet of granite rock, one time every thousand years, when mount everest worn smooth with the sands of time, the first second of eternity has not begun, because it's forever, and forever, and forever. What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Can we stand and bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father, let the Holy Spirit fill this room and let our hearts and minds think soberly about the well being of our own soul, in Jesus' name.
Let me ask you this question: is there a doubt in your mind about your eternal salvation? You're in this room, you say, pastor, I have never come to Christ. I've never confessed the Lord. It's imperative that you make the decision to follow Jesus. If you've never received Christ, and you would like to in this morning's service, I want you to raise your hand right where you are. God bless you and God bless you. And God bless you, sir. And God bless you. And God bless you. God bless you.
How many of you are in this room, say, preacher, I'm like the lost coin: I'm out of circulation. I just don't have a place to serve the Lord and I want to find that place, because I want to be used of God. If that describes you, can I see your hand right where you are? God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. How many of you in this room have a relative without Christ? Someone prayed for you, but are you praying for them? 1 Samuel says, "God forbid that I should sin in not praying for you". If you have relatives that don't know the Lord, let me see your hand right where you are. I want you to pray this prayer with me right now, everyone in this room.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name, I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to serve you from this day forward with all of my heart, soul, mind and body. And now Lord Jesus Christ, I want to be used of you. I want to find a place near to the heart of God where I can bless other people. I'm prepared to be your servant every day for the rest of my life, in Jesus' name. Amen. Give the Lord a shout of praise in the house of God. Amen.