John Hagee - The Supreme Question
The supreme question, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul"? Only Jesus could answer that question. He alone knows the value of the earth, because he and the father created it on Genesis morning. He knows where every diamond is located, and it's not on your hand. 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 grasp a million years. It cannot grasp ten million years, but God can. It's called "Eternity", and it never, never, never ends.
The Bible says your life is like grass that's cut down in the morning and wilts before the noonday sun. But when you wake up in eternity, you're going to live forever, and forever, and forever, and forever. It will never end. Consider the value of your soul. The value of your soul caused God the Father to take his son to the edge of eternity and tell him, "The seed of the woman must be born to destroy the influence of satan on the earth". The value of your soul forced him (Jesus), to allow Herod's men of war to spit on him, to slap his face, to place a purple robe on his back, and mock him, to place a crown of thorns on his head, and press it until it pierced the skull, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews".
The value of your soul drove him to Pilate's whipping post to be beaten bloody for your healing. Listen to the sound of that whip sizzling through the air. And every time it hits the back of the Son of God, snatching flesh and meat from the body of Christ, the dripping of the blood of the Son of God on the cobblestones. "By his stripes, we are healed". Thank you, God: that every sickness and every disease is under the power of the healing of the great physician, Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Put your hands together and give him highest praise in the house of God!
The value of your soul compelled him to carry his blood-soaked cross up to the summit of Calvary to allow Roman soldiers to nail his hands and his feet, to lift his blood-soaked body in the air, the only throne he's known on earth. He sobbed, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"? It's the only time that Jesus ever called God, the father, "God". Every other time, it was, "Father". Why? Because he had become sin for me and for you. And God could not look upon sin. So he was there alone. Jesus had a lost-and-found sermon series. It's in the Bible. It's the parables. There are four ways to be lost. Listen closely. He talked about the lost sheep, the lost coin: the lost boy, the prodigal: and the lost elder brother.
Let me touch quickly on those. Consider the lost sheep. The sheep was not lost, because the sheep plotted with cunning to avoid the leadership of the shepherd. Sheep are basically stupid. The sheep was lost because of its careless meandering until it fell into a deep ditch. Its bleeding voice was a lunch bell for a lion or a wild wolf. Are you lost from God because of your careless meandering and your foolish choices? Choices have consequences. It may take five or ten years for them to catch up to you, but that will catch up to you. "Be sure your sin will find you out". If humans don't find you, God will shout it from the housetop himself. God's a tattletale. Yeah. He'll rat you out for sure.
When Jesus saw the people (his sheep), without a shepherd, he was moved with compassion. The Greek text there reads, "His bowels were wrenched with emotion". It broke his heart. He saw them already wounded and dead from satan's attack, because a sheep without a shepherd is dead already. His instruction, there were 99 that were safe in the fold, but one was lost: "Leave the ninety-nine, and go search for the one that's lost". Search in the night. Search in the storm. Search in the cold. Don't come back without that one lost sheep.
The attitude of the average church member for the lost is pet me, pamper me, pacify me, forget about everything, bless me, love me, pray for me, visit me, whine with me: but forget about the lost. "Preacher, I haven't won a soul to Christ in years. I haven't witnessed for the lost in months. I haven't prayed a prayer or missed a meal of fasting for the salvation of the members of my own family. But I want you to forget the lost and dying sheep in the city, and I want you just to focus on me". Your responsibility is to "Go into all the world", and your world starts where you live, "And preach the Gospel". You are an epistle being read of people. Can I hear an "Amen" here?
Wake up, church. "The soul that sinneth shall surely die". Say that with me. "The soul that sinneth shall surely die". That's the Bible. People without Christ go to an eternal hell. Eternity is a long, long time. There is no such thing as purgatory. There are no rich relatives to bail you out. The day you close your eyes in death, you're either going to heaven or your going to hell. Jesus said to the thief on the cross what? "This day, you're going to be with me in paradise". "Paradise" is heaven.
Consider the lost coin. The coin was not lost because it had ceased to be silver. It still belonged to the master of the house, but it was lost because it was out of circulation. And being out of circulation, it had no service. And since it had no service, it was useless. Some of you are saved, as far as heaven is concerned. But as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, you're right next to useless. You're out of circulation. You don't have a place of service. You attend church when it's convenient. If you don't go to God's house on earth, how is God going to take you to his house in heaven? If you're uncomfortable with people praising the Lord and clapping their hands, you're going to be one miserable wretch when you get to heaven. That's what we're going to do over there.
Then there's the lost boy, the prodigal. It's obvious he's lost. He's left his father's home and went into the far country. He's wasted his life. He's wasted the fortune. He's ruined his father's good name. He got tired of his father's stuffy rules of righteousness. He jumped on his Honda, popped the front wheel, and zipped down highway 10, going to Dallas to live like big, bad J.R. Hewing. He wanted to do his own thing. But the more he got what he wanted, the less he wanted what he got. He left home saying, "Give me".
Now let me show you the arrogance of that. The firstborn in a Jewish family got two-thirds of the inheritance. And no one got anything until the first boy got his. Why? Because it was his responsibility to train all of the other children in the principles of righteousness, and to financially assist them get started in a business or a marriage on an equal basis. See how much sense that makes? But here comes this punk. He stuck his hand out, saying, "Give me". He came home a few months later, saying, "Make me. Make me as one of your hired servants". He left home, saying, "Daddio". He came home stinking like a pig, and said, "Oh daddy". He went for pleasure and for power. He came home penniless, and putrid, and saturated in the shame. He left home a son, and he came back a slave. He was in open rebellion to the will of the father. Are you? Are you?
"Obedience is better than sacrifice". Say that with me. "Obedience is better than sacrifice". That's a Bible verse, by the way. That means God had rather for you to obey him than to give him ten thousand dollars. God doesn't need the money. He owned it before you got it. And when they put you in a box, he'll still own it. But he wants you to obey him, because your obedience is validation that he's Lord of your life. You won't live one happy day until you surrender to the will of God the Father. From Adam and Eve until late last night, that is the law of the Kingdom of God.
"Our father, which art in heaven", he has all power in heaven and in earth. He has all authority. And as long as you obey him, he will move heaven and earth for you! But when you rebel from him, he will take his hand of blessing away, and life will become hell on earth. Notice the condition of the lost. The father said, "This is my son, who was dead". Do you have a son without Christ? In the Bible, he's dead. Do you have a daughter, you have a father, you have a mother, without Christ? He or she, in the Bible, are considered the living dead. The Bible says, "He that believeth on the son hath everlasting life. But he that believeth not is dead already". Black and white, verse for verse, word for word, from the Bible. Are you without Christ? In the eyes of God, you are dead already. You must be born again. You must be born again. It's not an option.
There are five Bible facts about your eternity that Jesus said you should know. This is recorded in Luke 16:19 through 31. It's a real place. It is a place Jesus called, "Hell". Jesus had twice as much to say about hell as he did heaven. You say, "Preacher, why are you preaching on that? This is the 21st century". I know. Hell's still there and you're still going. That's so I don't see you on the Day of Judgment, and you say, "You know if you'd have informed me this place was here, I might not be going"! If you refuse to confess him publicly, you have rejected him. Jesus revealed that hell was a place of torment. It was a place of memory. It was a place of separation. And it was the eternal, everlasting home of the people who refused to accept him.
You say, "Preacher, I don't believe in hell". It's still there, partner. It's still there and you're still going. What do you believe? What you believe has no bearing on reality. That's a high hill for some of you to carry, but just think about it. Poison kills whether you believe it or not. Frost freezes whether you believe it or not. Fire burns whether you believe it or not. The world is round whether you believe it or not. Hell is a reality whether you believe it or not. People say, "Well preacher, who believes in hell other than you"? Jesus Christ. He spoke about hell twice as much as he spoke about heaven in the scripture.
Luke 16:22-23, "The rich man died and was buried. And being in torment in hell, he lifted his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom". Listen to that. He went to a place of torment. He knew who he was. He knew where he was. He knew who they were, because there are people who teach, "When you die, you die like a dog: you don't have consciousness". Not according to Jesus, and he's the only one I know that's been there. Paul did. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 and 9, "In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ". Here's that word "Obedience" again. "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction". How long? "Everlasting destruction". John the Revelator believed in hell. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire".
Here is the Bible description of hell. It's called, "A place of outer darkness". It's called, "A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth". It's called, "A place of torment". It's called, "A place of everlasting destruction". It's called, "A place without rest". It is called, "A place where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not". Why is that word "Worm" in there? Because you can kill a worm with a match, the heat from a match, because its skin is so sensitive. But this is going to be a fire that torments and never permits you to die. The rich man died. The day is coming when you're going to die. There's one statistic you should master: one out of one dies.
It doesn't matter how rich you are, how intellectual you are, how powerful you are: how athletic you are with your magnificent, skinny body, you wretched thing you. You're going to die. If you die without Christ, here's what you're going to experience. You're going to open your eyes in a place with millions, who are tormented day and night, year after year, for all eternity. It's a place of consciousness. The Bible says, "He lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham and Lazarus in his bosom". The rich man knew where he was. He knew who he was. He knew how he was. He knew he was lost forever. He looked from a bottomless pit of eternal darkness into a city of eternal light, a waterless inferno.
He saw the sparkling river of life flowing from beneath the throne of God. From the city whose inhabitants are murderers and rapist and child molesters, to a city filled with happy, holy, laughing, loving, joyous people: surrounded by angels: and God, the father: and Jesus, the son. He heard the screams of hell's tormented legions and he heard the saints singing on the hills of glory. "Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art". He looked from a city where the wicked never rest, tormented day and night, to a land of perfect rest. He heard satan laugh in his face, "You fool! You fool! You sat in church every Sunday. You sang the songs. You even carried a Bible once in a while, but you never got around to obeying it. You never got around to accepting Christ. Welcome home". He was tormented day and night.
Abraham said, "Son, remember". He asked that they send Lazarus to put one drop of water on his tongue, and Abraham said, no. People in hell ask for so little, and they get nothing. Abraham said, "Son, remember that you in your lifetime had good things, and Lazarus had nothing. But now he has everything, and you have nothing". The murderer will remember his dying victim. The rapist will remember his screaming target. The liar will remember the lies of his toxic tongue. Hello, congress. The fearful and the unbelieving remembered the times they heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached, and rejected it. If you leave this service without the Lord, you will walk the corridors of eternity, remembering every word I have preached. You will have an eternity to remember.
Think about that. If I had a handkerchief that was silk that would never wear out and this Bible mounted to mount everest, thousands of feet of granite rock: and one time each year, a sparrow could carry this silk handkerchief over this massive mountain, when this mountain had been leveled with the sands of the ages and had been worn out, the first second of eternity has not begun. The answer: what will you do with Jesus, who is called the Christ? What will you do? And "What will a man give in exchange for his soul"?
Can we bow our heads? Father God, we thank you today, because you are in this room. And there are precious people, your sheep, that are lost and looking for a shepherd. There are people, who like the coin, are out of circulation, and really have no place of service in the Kingdom of God. There are those, who are lost like the elder brother. They go to church and keep the religious rules, but Christ is not the Lord of their life. There are some in this room and those watching by television that if they died in the next 60 seconds, would not end up in heaven. This morning, let no one leave this room without being sure that they're going to spend eternity in heaven with God and the holy angels, their family, rejoicing around the throne.
You're in this room right now, you say, pastor, if Jesus Christ came for me in the next 60 seconds, I would not be ready. There are things in my life about which I must repent and make right. I must honor the Lord with obedience, because obedience is better than sacrifice. If that describes you, would you raise your hands right where you are? God bless you. And God bless you. And God bless you. Stand to your feet, congregation. Stand to your feet. As we sing this song, I want those of you who raised your hand, to come. I'm going to have a prayer with you.
Some of you right now are getting ready to step from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Please hear this: you're not joining the church. This absolutely has nothing to do with Cornerstone Church. It only has to do with your eternal salvation. And when you cross that line, the Bible says, the angels in heaven will rejoice that you've made that decision, because they know how long eternity is. And our minds just can't get it. As they sing, I want you to come. I want to pray with you. This is going to be the best day for the rest of your life. Pastor matt, sing. Thank you. God bless you. Thank you. Come on. Come on. Thank you. God bless you. God bless you. Come out of that balcony, in Jesus' name. Thank you, Lord. God bless you. Here comes two more. Here comes two more. Here comes another. All right. Give the Lord a shout of victory in the house of God!
We're all going to pray a prayer together, because I'm not silly enough to believe that they're all here. And I know some of you watching by television have never heard a sermon like this in all of your life in that church you go to. But I assure you everything I've said today is the yea and amen of the Word of God. And you want to know the Lord. Extend your hand toward the television and let's pray together. congregation, let's join them around the world, as we pray together.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin, my failures, my shortcomings. Today, in the authority of Jesus' name, and by the shed blood of the cross, I ask you to forgive me, to cleanse me, to make me righteous, to make me pure, to make me holy. Lord Jesus Christ, from this day forward, I'm going to serve you and serve you only. You will be the Lord of my life. And I will be your servant. I will read your word. And I will obey your word. In Jesus' name, from this moment forward, Jesus is Lord. Amen.