John Hagee - The Portrait Of Children
On the screen behind me are 13 of the most beautiful, brilliant, exceptional children on the face of the earth. These are my grandchildren, my grandchildren and Diana's grandchildren. They are all honor students at the school where they attend. They are all committed to Christ. They and their five parents are the joy of my life. There is a family in our house. The 21st century, however, has kind of got things turned around. When I was a child, children obeyed. Today, America's parents send their dogs to obedience school and they send their children to camp apache. The result is the dogs behave and the children go on the warpath.
Children can be the source of endless questions. An eight-year-old boy was walking down the sidewalk with his father, and he said, "Dad, what makes the grass green"? His dad said, "I don't know". He said, "Dad, what makes the sky blue"? And the father said, "I don't know". And he said, "Dad, what makes it rain"? And the father said, "I don't know". The boy said, "Dad, you don't mind me asking questions: do you"? The father said, "No. How are you ever going to learn anything"?
When my children were little, they asked questions, and sometimes hard questions. "Dad, how do babies get here"? I answered, "The Lord sends them". And then it went to the stork until Matthew got here. And about age six, he said, "Dad, I know God sends babies, but how does he send babies"? I said, "That's for a later discussion". The fact of life concerning our children is that every parent in this audience has a choice, and that choice is to raise your children by the law of God or the law of the jungle, one of the those two. There is no exception.
The law of God brings love, joy, peace, unity, prosperity, happiness unlimited, and finally eternal life in heaven. The law of the jungle brings a curse. It brings endless pain. It brings suffering. It brings rebellion. And you're watching that rebellion in the streets of America right now on the television set with every one of these clashes that we're having between large sections of our nation that are in combat with each other. America had better have a spiritual revival or we're going to have a revolution. I can tell you that's going to be the fact. As for me and my house, we have chosen the Lord. And we will serve him and serve him only.
Psalm 127:3, "Behold, children are a heritage of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gates".
Father, thank you for the joy and the pleasure of the knowledge of God's word that shows us God's portrait of children, of fathers and mothers. Today help us hear this portrait of children and instruct them in the way of the Lord: that their lives may be filled with blessings. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
There is an invading army that's about to seize our schools, our churches, and our homes. This invading army will eventually take over our government and determine the moral and spiritual climate of the United States of America. This invading army is not coming. This invading army is here, and this army is our children. How are we preparing for our children to be future leaders of America? We opened the doors of our magnificent new Cornerstone Christian School to demonstrate to our children, and to our congregation, and to our city, and to our nation, by the way, how important we believe our children to be.
First let me tell you this school is a gift from God. Only God could make this happen. And let me tell you there is no finer school in the United States of America. It's architectural beauty is off the charts. It's academic accomplishments are already established. I have been asked, "So why are we making this great sacrifice"? And the answer is this, if we fail our children, we have failed at life. Don't you ever forget that. I don't care if you make a million dollars a minute. If you fail as a father, you are a failure, period. Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. But fools despise wisdom and instruction".
We make this great sacrifice because our children are going to be leaders, locally and nationally, for the world tomorrow. When they graduate and go toe-to-toe with some ACLU agnostic or atheist, they will know to the core of their being what they believe. They won't stutter and look around and grasp for an answer: they'll have the answer. They will know that this is still one nation under God. They will know that they have constitutional rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and those rights were given by God Almighty, and not by Washington, D.C.
They will know that God created the heavens and the earth, and that we are not the products of monkeys hanging by their tail: we are the product of the genius of God that created us in his own likeness. That's who we are. They will know that marriage is between a man and a woman, not between two men and two women. They'll know that for a fact. They will know that the Ten Commandments are not ten recommendations: that they are still the eternal, unchanging laws of God. And we should honor them and obey them now. They will know that pluralism is paganism. There are not many Gods. There is one God. "Behold, o Israel, the Lord our God is one". He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And there is no other!
He's an everlasting God. He's from everlasting to everlasting. He was in the beginning and he will be in the eternal life. He is awesome. He has all power in heaven and in earth. He sends his angels to go before you to prepare the way and behind you to be your rear guard. We have direct access to this power, because he has said in this book, "Call upon me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you know not". If you really need help, call on the only source that can really give it, the God of heaven. He has the power to answer your prayer. Four days late is just the beginning with God. He will be there on time. Give the Lord praise in the house of God.
We make this sacrifice so our children will know that Christmas is not a mid-winter holiday: it's the celebration of the virgin birth of the Son of God. King Jesus is his name. He is the living God. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. If we fail to reach our children for Christ, we have failed as Christians in our generation. When it comes to our children, no sacrifice is too great, no price is too high, no burden is too heavy. Children are God's reward. We will not fail the next generation. We will equip them. We will train them: because America's greatest generation is yet to come. Can I get a witness?
Let me give you a shocking thought. Your child could grow up to be president. Exactly what would that person do when they walked in the oval office? They'd do exactly what you taught them to do. They would be a reflection of the moral structure you gave them. No matter what you do, your child will grow up to be a teenager. You'll wonder what happened. Suddenly, one day they know everything. You know nothing.
So I saw a sign the other day, teenagers, for those of you who are here and for those of you who are watching. It said, "If you're tired of being harassed by unreasonable parents, who want you to clean up your room, and do your homework, or to turn off the phone, or get off your laptop, or get disconnected from the electronic world, now is the time to take action. Leave home and pay your own way while you still know everything".
In the Bible, children are a blessing from God. David said that in Psalm 127:3. Children are God's reward. Say that with me, children are God's reward. There will be days when you find it difficult to believe that. A mother said to the son, "If you misbehave one more time, you're going to have to eat supper alone". He did misbehave one more time. And the mother put a TV tray in the next room away from the family. And as they were eating supper, they heard the boy praying, saying, "Father, I thank you that you have prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies".
Your children are smarter than you think they are. A father and son were in the post office, and the son was looking at all the pictures on the wall, and said, "Dad, who are those people"? The father, said, "These people are criminals. They're bad people". The son said, "Well, why are their pictures on the wall"? He said, "Because the FBI is trying to find them". He said, "So why didn't the FBI keep them when they took their picture"?
Children are dearly loved by God the Father. Jesus, in his earthly ministry, stopped to hug and kiss children. He picked them up in his arms and he blessed them. The disciples rebuked them, and then Jesus rebuked the disciples, because it's important for the father to bless the children. Fathers in this room, do you bless your children? Do you put your hands on their head and pray a spiritual blessing over them? That's something you ought to do on a regular basis. Do you hug them? Do you kiss them? Oh well, they get too old. No, they don't. My children are 40 years old. I still kiss them every day and I always will.
One day, my son, Chris, got out of the house a little early. And I drove the car to the intersection where he and his chums were waiting on the school bus to pick him up. And he saw me get out of the car and he knew what was going to happen. And he starts running down the sidewalk, screaming, "No! No! No"! And I'm right behind him. Those were the days when I could run. I turned him around and I kissed him. And a lady poked her head out of a house, and said, "I'm calling the cops"! I said, "Go right ahead". I got back in the car. Things like that are fun.
The blessings of the father can release divine favor of God upon that child. And a child with God's favor can climb the stairway to the stars. Why do I press the point? Because there are children in this audience and children listening by television, who live in an environment of abuse and neglect. They have never received the blessing or the approval of their father, and sometimes their mother. But their father has abandoned them. Maybe physically, maybe in the provision dimension he's abandoned them. And I assure you they live a handicap life.
Some children's fathers are in prison. And when dad goes to prison, the wife and the children go to jail with him. They suffer every day, because he's gone. He may be innocent. He may be guilty. But it doesn't stop the pain and the anguish of the children in the home. Our church has something called "Operation angel tree". Every December, we gather thousands of gifts and carry them to the homes of children whose fathers are in jail or in prison, so that they don't suffer the pain and penalty their father has brought to the house.
The parents of some children are addicted to drugs or alcohol. The addiction makes you a monster for a helpless child. Some children have fathers and mothers who slap them, who hit them, who verbally terrorize them, because the parent is emotionally ill with anger, with resentment, with bitterness, with rejection, of things that happened to them in the past that are being demonstrated now.
If statistics are correct, there are children in the audience, who are sexually abused. They feel guilty. They feel ashamed. They feel they did something wrong to cause an abusive relationship. Children, listen to me. You did not cause this! Whoever is doing this is sick and full of the devil himself. If you will call my office, I will get you help immediately. And I will put your tormenter in jail where they belong.
What your kids want that money can't buy is your time. The most precious thing that you have is your time. The best thing that you can spend with your children is your time. I think giving gifts is often an excuse for not giving the greatest gift, which is yourself. When my children were home, I went to every ball game if I was in the city. I went to recitals. I went to Christmas plays. I went to concerts. I went to school drama. If they were playing the part of a potted plant on the edge of a stage, I was there yelling, "Yay, plant".
Young marriage looks at world conditions. And say, "Well, it's not a good time to have children". Consider the birth of Moses. He was born when the government policy was putting male babies into the Nile River, not a good time. But by the will of God, he was born. His mother was given custody of him: was raised in a Jewish home. She protected him. And by the grace of God, she was given him by the hand of God to raise to become the prince in Israel that liberated a nation from 430 years of slavery.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born in a stable with cows and sheep. The government was killing all babies two years old and down. When he was born, it was not a good time to have a baby. But if you take the life of Moses and Jesus Christ out of world history, what do you have? Nothing, absolutely nothing. How many great scientists, how many presidents, how many senators, how many honorable college professors, how many military officers, how many pastors, how many rabbis, how many physicians, have be aborted since roe versus wade? How many?
David said, "The children are like arrows - like arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of his youth". The Bible plan is you raise your children and your children take care of you in the old age. God's plan is that the children are to take care of the parents, not the government. The more children you have, the more protection you have. That's God's plan. But I mean what does God know? I mean for heaven's sake. That's why the Bible says, "Happy is the man that has his quiver full". It's a mystery to me how one man and one woman can have six children, and raise those children, and all those children can't take care of that one man and one woman when they become old. That's God's plan.
Preacher, are you telling me you expect your children to take care of you? You bet I do. If I can't take care of myself, you better believe it. I'm telling them very often, "When I get old, I'm coming to live with you. And you will enjoy it". My children pray for my health every day. I tell them, in jest, of course, that I'm going to invite all of my old friends over and eat them out of a house and home, so they get the feel of it.
I'm going to play the stereo loud enough to crack the paint. I will not need my hearing aids to hear the music, neither will my friends. I'm going to talk on the phone day and night, and you can communicate with smoke signals out of the backyard. I'm going to get in your new car and burn the back tires off just going in circles. I'm going to bring it home and I'm going to say, "I dented the back fender of your new car. If you'd like to see it, it's in the trunk".
Children are a blessing from the Lord. They bring joy. They bring the future. They work. They carry out the trash. They cut the grass. They wash the dishes. They clean the house. They have responsibilities. Well you say, "My children won't do that". That's because you haven't trained them. Again, I've been to sea world. They've got a porpoise out there that can play basketball. If they can teach that porpoise to play basketball, you can teach your child to clean up their room, to wash the dishes, and to get their homework done.
What brings divine prosperity to your child? The father's blessing. The blessing in the Bible is when someone in spiritual authority puts their hands on the head of a child and speaks a blessing over them. That would be the father, the pastor, the rabbi. The history of blessing begins with Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis, with Abraham, with Isaac. Isaac had 12 sons. And when he was dying, he blessed those 12 sons, and listen. Every word he spoke into the lives of those 12 boys, controlled the history of the Middle East for over 2,000 years.
Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, the Son of God, when he began his ministry, began it with eight blessings. You call it "The beatitudes", but they are eight blessings. Jesus' first sermon on the mount was those eight blessings. He blessed children. He said, "Except you become like a child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven". Children believe. Children are not skeptical. They are not bitter. They are not perpetually angry.
Luke 18 says, "And they (people) brought unto Jesus infants: that he would touch them". Jesus' reaction was, "Allow the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven". That's what we're going to do here today. We're going to pray for the children who are here. And it's going to be a great day. Right now, the children who would like to be prayed for, please begin to line up in this aisle and this aisle.