John Hagee - Your Greatest Decision
Your decisions determine your destiny. Say that with me: your decisions determine your destiny. How many of you've made bad decisions you'd like to forget? That's a hundred percent right out of the rack. Amen. All of this brings me to the greatest question, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world," Jesus said, "And loses his soul"? Your greatest decision is "Are you saved"? Do you truly know the Lord?
When you hear the word "Saved," what does that mean to you? A baseball pitcher goes on the mound. He's a relief pitcher and he saves 20 games a year. A crop of grain is saved by a rain. A fireman dashes into a burning building and saves a child. A surgeon has a patient on the operating board and saves their life with his surgical skill. A policeman saves an abused wife from an alcoholic husband. The world needs to be saved. It needs saving because we've created enough atomic energy to kill everyone on planet earth 20 times over.
America needs salvation. America needs a spiritual awakening. America needs a spiritual revolution. We have become a lawless society. We are a politically corrupt, divided nations right now. We have young people in the streets in anarchy like we would never have believed. We have spousal abuse that's running off the chart, drug addiction that is so severe that in the last two years, so many thousand young Americans have died from overdose of drugs that the life expectancy of every American has been diminished. That's how many thousands have died from drugs alone. Illegitimate birthrate is running off the charts. Fathers are abandoning their children in mad pursuit to find the God of self. Washington has become a political mad house of liars, lunatics, and leakers. Fake news has replaced the good news, everywhere except the house of God.
I read one of the most encouraging things I have read in months on the internet. It's the chairman of the democratic national party, saying he's concerned that so many people are going to church, getting their political instructions over the pulpit. Yes! And hallelujah! In the spiritual realm, the point is, do you even know what the word "Saved" means? The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved"? Say that with me. "What must I do to be saved"? The question must be answered, because your soul is the most precious thing that you have. It is immortal.
There was a day when you were not, but there will never be a day when you will not be. The day that Alexander the Great ruled the world, you were not. The day that the Caesars ruled Rome, you were not. The day that Columbus discovered America, you were not. The day the founding fathers drafted the constitution of the United States, guaranteeing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in 1776, you were not. But there will never be a day when you will not be somewhere alive. Ten million years from now, 50 million years from now. A hundred million years from now, for all eternity, you are all going to be alive. The question is, where? And only you can make a decision that will make that question bearable.
So consider the value of your soul. The value of your soul brought Jesus Christ from the balconies of heaven to be born a babe in Bethlehem's manger, to be followed by 12 disciples. The crowned Prince of Heaven left the splendor of glory to live in that stinking cave of cows and donkeys and goats. The value of your soul forced him to allow Herod's men of war to spit on him, to slap his face, and to place a purple robe on his back, and mocked him. The crown of thorns was put on his head, saying, "Hail, king to the Jews". The Creator laid down on the cross and allowed the created to nail his hands and feet to that cross. Think of the power he had. One word and a thousand angels would have ripped that mountain by the roots and flung it into the gates of hell! But he laid there and let them nail him there for you, and for you, and for you, for you, for you, for you, and every person watching this television program, because that's how precious your soul happens to be.
The Bible says, "For this cause, came Christ into the world, to destroy the works of satan". "Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost". The last command he gave to the church was, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature". And if I could take a sidebar for about 20 minutes, it would be good to show you in the scripture that he was talking about gentiles. Recognize that a Jewish rabbi was speaking to 12 Jewish followers. "Creatures" were gentile people who had never heard the Gospel. And they brought the message to us, and the great commission was fulfilled. He said, go to Jerusalem, go to Samaria, go to the uttermost parts of the earth. The reason I came to earth, the reason I was crucified, is so that you can win the lost. Nothing is as precious as a soul.
"Don't ask people to believe what you believe. Ask people to believe on me". That's what Jesus said. And let me tell you something. If we could get back to that simple thing, what a wonderful world this would be. Our objective on this planet is to win the lost to Jesus Christ! Don't ask people to believe what you believe, because some of you don't even know. Ask them to believe in Jesus. He is the shepherd. We are the sheep. He is the potter. We are the clay. He is the Creator. We are the created. He is the master of wind and wave. He is the lion of the tribe of Judah! He is the light of the world! He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world! He is the redeemer! He is wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, and Prince of Peace! Give him highest praise in the house of God!
Are we really Christians? Do we really know Christ? Do we really serve him, love him, obey him above all else? Is he is Lord of your life? Or is he a religious butler that you send running for what you need in your day of crisis? Let me tell you something: Jesus Christ does not operate like that. Are you saved? When and where did you make that decision? Because if something of that magnitude happened to you, you'd know when it happened. Salvation is not church membership. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than pushing a wheelbarrow through the General Motors assembly line will transform that wheel barrel into a Cadillac. The church is the house of the saved. It is not the Savior. Hear that. This is where the redeemed come. The church does not save you: Jesus saves you. I think of the church in this way.
My uncle in the World War II was a combat pilot. He was in the Army Air Corps. That's before there was an Air Force. And when he returned home, we would sit around the fireplace and he would talk about his war experiences. And I have to tell you, when he started talking about dog fights in the air, his eyes were literally glowing. He enjoyed it. During the war, he would say, "Our great aircraft carriers would load planes with fuel and ammunition. And they would fly off the back, off the deck of that carrier to find enemy and get involved in what they called "A dog fight". They would drop their bombs. They would fire their machine guns, and then fly back to the carrier for more fuel and ammunition, and then go back to the fight again.
The church is like that. The church is like that carrier. We come to church on Sunday to find new spiritual strength and new spiritual fire power. And then we go out and engage the world, the flesh, and the devil, to accomplish the mission of Christ. Saint Paul said, "Fight the good fight of faith". Saint Paul said, "Endure hardness as a good soldier". Saint Paul was a person who understand that we are at war with the world, the flesh, and the devil. And our only objective is victory! Victory! Victory! Give the Lord praise in the house!
If you could live from now on to your dying day without committing a single sin, without saying a harsh word, without thinking an ungodly thought, your goodness would not blot out your record in heaven. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash that stain away. You must be born again. Salvation is not morality. Consider the rich, young ruler. He wanted to follow Christ. Christ said, "Go sell all you have and give it to the poor". And the Bible says, "He went away exceedingly sorrowful". But this young man had quite an accomplishment. He kept all of the commandments all of his adult life.
You go home and read those Ten Commandments today. I guarantee you there's not a soul in this building that can say, "I've kept all ten of the commandments every day of my adult life". He was a good person! But without the new birth, he was not permitted to follow Jesus Christ. Morality does not get you to heaven. The blood of Jesus Christ and confession as Jesus as Lord gets you to heaven. I've had people say, "Well I do a lot of good works". Most of those are done on Christmas when the cameras are rolling. Ephesians 2:8 and 9, "For by grace are you saved through faith. It is not of yourself. It is the gift of God". Listen. "Not of works". "Not of works: lest any man should boast".
You can give every dime you have to building whatever for whomever, but it counts for nothing until you give your soul to Jesus Christ. Counterfeit Christianity teaches salvation by works. You can crawl on your knees down the aisle of the world's greatest cathedral, and it will not save you. It will not heal you. Only Christ can save you. Only Jesus is the great physician.
Martin Luther climbed the glass stone steps of a cathedral, trying to crucify self to find the Lord. And he heard the voice of God, saying, "The just shall live by faith". Say that with me, "The just shall live by faith". He got off his knees and the reformation was born, because he liberated a generation from the fact that the established church was the only way to heaven. For by faith are you saved through the grace of God. Salvation is a supernatural change. You become a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature". Listen. "All things have passed away, and behold, all things have become new".
How many of you would like some old things to pass away? Don't look at your husband. Old things to pass away? You can make that decision today. Bitterness, resentment, rejection, fear, lowliness, guilt, all of that can pass away. But you have to be willing to let it pass away. You can't be joyful today, remembering every wretched thing that's happened to you since 1962. Can I get a witness? Yeah.
Salvation is freedom from condemnation. "There is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus". You are free from sin. You are free from your past. You are free from addictions. You are free from the fear of tomorrow. You are free from the domination and manipulation by the powers and principalities of darkness. You are free. You are free. You are free, absolutely free, in the authority of Jesus' name! Give the Lord praise in the house!
Salvation is a choice. It's a choice between two destinations, heaven or the gates of hell. People say in this ever-permissive society, "Well I just don't believe in hell". I assure you: Jesus Christ did. Jesus Christ spoke twice as much about where the lost go as he did about heaven. I'm going to give you a guided tour that Jesus gave in Luke 16. Paul believed in it. He said in 2 Thessalonians 1:8 and 9, "Inflaming fire to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with an everlasting destruction". That's pretty clear. Saint John believed in eternal torment. Revelation 20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the back of life was cast into the lake of fire". That's pretty clear.
Now, let me give you Jesus' story. These are not my words. Every word I'm getting ready to tell you is in Luke 16:19 and following. Here it is. "And there was a certain rich man who was habitually dressed in expensive purple and fine linen, and celebrated and lived joyously in splendor every day. And there was a poor man named Lazarus that was laid at his gate, covered with sores. He eagerly longed to eat the crumbs, which fell from the rich man's table. Beside even the dogs were come and licking his sores".
Side note: here is a man, who had the wealth and the power to let this poor beggar have the crumbs the throwaways, that would have made him healthy. But he was covered with sores, and dogs licked those sores when that rich man watched it and did nothing. I want to tell you again, God holds us accountable for not helping the people we can help. When we have the ability to help them, and we walk away, it's the most unchristian thing you can possibly do. I'll pick up Jesus again.
"Now it happened that the poor man died and his spirit was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom," which is paradise or heaven, "And the rich man died, and he was buried in hell. Being in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom in paradise". And he cried out, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in severe agony in this flame".
Side note: there are preachers who teach that when you die, you die like a dog, and you don't know where you are or how you are. This man knew how he was. He knew where he was. He knew where everyone in eternity was. He asked for one drop of water. Yesterday, with all of his wealth, he could have bought a wagon load of water. In hell, he asked for one drop of water and didn't get that.
Continue, but Abraham said, "Son, remember that in your lifetime, you received good things: and Lazarus, likewise, bad things, comforts, discomforts and distress. But now he is comforted here in paradise while you are in severe agony. And beside all this, between us and you, there's a great division that has been fixed so that those who would want to come from where you are cannot come here. And none may cross over from where we are to go where you are". Verse 27, so the rich man said, "Then father Abraham, I pray that you would send Lazarus to my father's house". Listen. "For I have five brothers".
Yesterday, this man didn't give a hoot about evangelism. And today, it's the number one priority in his life. "I have five brothers in order that he may solemnly warn them and witness to them so that they too will not come to the place of torment". And Abraham said, "They have the scriptures given by Moses and the writings of the prophets. Let them listen to them".
Sidebar: they have pastors. They have evangelists. They have Christian television. They have Christian radio. There's a church every five miles, cover that. There's a church every two blocks down the street, and you walked by all of that every Sunday and didn't receive the Lord? You are to blame!
Continue, he replied, "No, father Abraham. But if someone rose from the dead, they will repent. They will change their old way of thinking and seek God and his righteousness". And Abraham answered back, "If they do not listen to the messages of Moses and the prophets, (the pastors and the evangelists), they will not be persuaded even though someone rose from the dead and told them about this place". Listen. In closing, two men, two decisions, two destinations. Your decisions determine your destiny. And your greatest decision in this day of decision is, "What will you do with Jesus Christ, who is called the Lord"? Let's pray.
Father God, today, thank you for your word. Thank you for its clarity. Thank you for its power. Thank you that Jesus loved us enough to die for us and redeem us from all our sin. We are here today in your presence. And men and women are making a decision about what they're going to do about Jesus Christ.
You're watching this telecast across America and around the world. You're sitting in this audience right now, and you say, pastor Hagee, if I were to face the Lord right now, I am simply not ready. I'm simply not prepared. There are things in my life about which I must repent and confess my sin before the Lord, and change my way before I know that Christ will receive me. If that describes you, would you slip your hand up right where you are? God bless you. Can we stand together? Can we stand together? Pray this prayer with me. Those of you who are here and those of you who are watching by television across America, pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I confess that I have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. Cleanse me, purify me by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. From this day forward, I will serve the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind, and body. From today forward, I will read God's word and I will obey it as a lamp to my feet and a light to my pathway. And now by the grace of God, and the power of the blood, I am saved. I am redeemed. I have decided to follow Jesus. Hallelujah.