John Hagee - The Love of God
The two great commandments captured the essence of the whole Bible. On one occasion, when Jesus was teaching, one of the religious leaders was trying to trap him to discredit him, to discredit him, something like you see on fake news with all the news reporters. Matthew 22 captures the scene. The Bible says, "And then one of the them, a lawyer", understand that in the Bible, anyone who was a lawyer is a teacher of the law of Moses. There were no personal injury lawyers or divorce lawyers. They didn't have that. That came later. A lawyer is someone who taught the law of Moses. And believe me: that's all they did was study the law. And he asked Jesus a question, testing him. The Bible says, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of all the law"? Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like it: that you shall love your neighbor as yourself".
Listen closely. Jesus was saying, on these two commandments, hang the entirety of the Word of God. Understand who Jesus is. He's not just a rabbi. Jesus is the living word. The Bible says, "In the beginning: that he was born, and he became the flesh, and he dwelt among us". He was the living word. And he says to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and body, and your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor is not the guy next door. In the Bible, your neighbor is the person who is in need and whose need you have the power to meet. When you hear someone, someone comes to you and they have a need. This is simple but it registers. And $20 will solve that need. You've got $40 in your pocket, give him $20 and solve the problem. Don't get religious and say, "Well, we'll pray about it". "For he who loves another has fulfilled the law: for you shall love your neighbor as yourself".
Paul continued that principle for the New Testament church. A new commandment is given when Jesus was in the upper room with his disciples on the night of the last supper. He shocked them by saying, "I'm going to give you a new commandment". Why shock? Because they knew the Ten Commandments of Moses by heart. Their life depended on it actually. And they knew the 613 commandments of Judaism that are based in the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch are the first five books in the Bible. So why were they getting a new commandment? "A new commandment I give you," Jesus said, "That you love one another". Because even at that time, they were arguing with each other about who was going to be the leader in the kingdom and who was going to sit at the right hand and so forth. And then when Jesus said, "All of you are going to get killed," that kind of simmered down. Nothing like knowing the facts. "By this sign (the law of love), shall men know that you are my disciples".
The love of God will bring a total transformation to every church. It'll bring a transformation to every city. It'll bring a transformation to every nation. Our nation needs to experience a baptism of love. And it needs to start coming from the people who call themselves Christians. Millions of Americans consider themselves born-again Christians but wouldn't speak to another Christian because he belongs to the wrong church. Their doctrine is not our doctrine. Meantime, America is going over the cliff searching for the love of God. I want you to hear this. There is one doctrine in the Bible and that is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved". That's the doctrine of the Bible. The doctrine of the Bible of love is, "Salvation is evidenced by the love of God". It's a fervent love. It's a passionate love. It's a personal love. It's a permanent love.
1 John 4, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God. And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But he who does not love, does not know God: for God is love". That is as in your face as you can get. What is love? It's seeing someone's need and meeting it. Why did Cornerstone Church build a Sanctuary of Hope? There was a need. A beautiful home has been built for young ladies, unwed mothers. The answer is because the government has taken our tax dollars and created abortion mills that murder the unborn. Let me say this as clearly as I can. Abortion in the Bible is murder in the first degree, period. Mother Teresa has said that, "The nation that murders its unborn has lost its soul," end of quote. Amen, Mother Teresa, amen. We built the Sanctuary of Hope because we needed a place of refuge where young women could take their children and have a child in a godly and righteous atmosphere, not close the doors so that the only option they had would be a hell hole called planned parenthood.
I received a letter the other day. And I read this by permission from a young lady who came to the Sanctuary of Hope whose life was in chaos, who had her baby, stayed there until both of them were stabilized. She's back home now with her parents and she's on her way to college. We have saved two lives here, the mother's life and the baby's life, and it's because of you. And it's because of those of you who watched over television, who helped us build the Sanctuary of Hope. I want you to listen just to some of this.
"Looking back at my experiences at Sanctuary of Hope, I began to understand the beauty of that phrase and the essence of Christ through it all. Coming from my broken self, I found it hard to adjust to the aura of love that's within the Sanctuary of Hope. I refused any help from the staff and I didn't have a future goal for myself. But the closer I got to childbirth, the more I realized that my mindset was toxic. And I wanted to be the best version of myself for my son, but I didn't know how to achieve that without help. The Sanctuary of Hope has encouraged me to grow as an individual, to be the mother I want to be and succeed in life. Every person that I have met through the Sanctuary of Hope has inspired me to grow in some aspect of my life. Every trial has become a triumph: that I may experience what has been taught to me about myself, my friends, and family, and involuntarily strengthened my relationship with God. Walking with Christ, I have begun to realize that nothing God does is wasted. Sanctuary of Hope has planted a seed of righteousness within me, which has changed my heart, and through me, has changed others. I have an understanding of the mother I want to be. Through various examples, a mother loves unconditionally. She builds character and heals hearts. She makes and keeps wonderful memories and is greatly admired. Mothers are genuine heroes: don't you think"?
That, my friend, is a wonderful letter. And you, and you, and you, and those watching by television made all of that possible. Some day, we're all going to get to heaven and see all of these children whose lives have been saved at the Sanctuary of Hope. And it's going to be one of the inspiring moments that we have in the future. Why did we build a magnificent school? Because there was a need to train up our children in the paths of righteousness. Since you've kicked God out of the public school and kicked the Bible out of the public school, we built a school that will reflect the nature of God that's in this book. And candidly, we're tired of our taxes sponsoring a socialist sewer being controlled by politically corrupt teacher's unions whose shared bathrooms with a foreign language called political correctness.
Why do you want to be politically correct when you can be right? Why have we preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ over television? Because there's a need for the light of truth to shatter the moral, political, and spiritual corruption destroying this country. There is the direct command from God himself to go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel. Why do we support Israel and the Jewish people around the world? Because that is a mandate from the Word of God. Genesis 12:3 says, "I will bless those who bless you". Say that with me. "I will bless those who bless you". "And I will curse those who curse you". If I had the time, I could walk you, historically, from Genesis to late last night, and demonstrate, historically, that every nation that ever attacked the Jewish people, God destroyed them in exactly the way they had attacked the Jewish people. Israel is not a political issue. Israel is a Bible issue!
The Bible says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love you". In the immediate future, Matthew 25:31 says, "There is coming the judgment of the nations". What is "The judgment of the nations"? "The judgment of the nations" is to determine how the gentile nations treated the Jewish people. Jesus says in that text, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren", and the "My brethren" were Jewish people. Jesus never called a gentile person his brethren. We were where Paul said we were, "Outside the covenants of Israel, without God, without hope, of all men most miserable". Jesus is talking about the Jewish people. And he said, "Inasmuch as you've done it unto the least of them, you did it to me". That's something Christianity needs to hear. "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered".
Faith works through love. Galatians 5:6, "For in Christ Jesus, faith works through love". During the recent Covid-19 crisis, Cornerstone Church fed thousands of people with 1.5 million pounds of food we handed out in boxes in their cars, as they drove through the parking lot. And we put a 40-pound box in their car, truck, and they just kept right on moving the line after line, after line, after line. That's what love looks like, when the church members are out there handling those boxes to the wee hours of the night because people are hungry. Love will make you do that. This congregation and our television partners made all of that happen. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you and God bless you many times over. Give the Lord praise.
Saint Paul says, "Without love, I am nothing". Say that with me. "Without love, I am nothing". "I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal". That's word for word in your Bible. Try that. Without the love of Jesus Christ, you're nothing but a lot of noise. And that defines the relationship a lot of people have. They're just a lot of religious noise. They don't love anybody. "And though I speak with prophecy and I have not love, I am nothing". If I knew the future, if I could predict what was going to happen in the Middle East with Iran and Russia and China, if I could tell where earthquakes were going to be, what the stock market was going to do, I could say I am really something. But Paul says, "Without love". You can know everything and you're nothing. You're nothing.
"If I understand all mysteries and have not love," Paul says, "I am nothing". And if I have all knowledge, if you have all knowledge in every field, in chemistry, in mathematics, in political science, so advanced that when you walked in the room, Henry Kissinger would hide in the closet, you would say, "I am something". God says, "Without love, you're nothing". "And though I have the faith that I could remove mountains and have not love, I am nothing". God says, if you can raise people from the dead, and you have a miracle ministry that can fill a football stadium, if you do not have the love of God in you, you are nothing.
Listen, church. Don't get confused between the power of God flowing through a man and the power of that man. It is God's power through him: it is not him. He is the vessel. God is the source. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor", the rich young ruler came to the Lord. And he wanted to follow the Lord. And Jesus said, "Go sell all you have and give it to the poor". And the Bible says, "He went away exceedingly sorrowful". Why? Because he was very rich. We love our possessions. Most of you are willing to give some, but not all. More than half of you don't even tithe, and that's only 10%. But to give all, I mean what kind of fanatic are you, preacher? That's what Jesus asked this man. If you want to follow me, I don't want a part of you: I want all of you. And that's what the Lord is saying to us. I don't want part of you: I want all of you. I want heart, soul, mind, and body. I want you to love me with everything you have. Because I gave you my best, I want you to give me your best. Give the Lord praise in the house.
"Love is patient". Are you patient? How many of you consider yourself patient? All of them women. The American attitude toward waiting was reflected in a sign I saw. It said, "Antiques manufactured while you wait". Think of that. A God, who is powerful and patient, we can't understand. Listen to this. God's delays are not God's denials. God's delays are not God's denials. If you've prayed for it, he'll answer, but he'll answer when he's ready. Give the Lord praise in the house. Look at God's patience in the plan of salvation. He sent Moses to Israel and Israel rejected him. He sent the prophets and the prophets were stoned. He sent his son as a baby in Bethlehem's manger and he was crucified.
God is saying in the text, if you have my love, you will be patient with those that you love, because God is patient with us. You're patient with your wife. You're patient with your husband. You're patient with your children. You're patient with your boss. You're patient, period. Greatness is not easily provoked. "Love is patient". But how patient are you? "Love is kind". The Phillips translation says, "Love looks for a way to be constructive". Kindness is love in action. One lady said, "Well, my husband doesn't deserve kindness". I said, "Give it to him on credit. You do everything else on credit". Be as kind as you can today, because that person may not be here tomorrow.
This is a true story of a husband who left for work, and his wife was screaming at him through the screen door over a silly, silly matter. He was killed on the way to work. She walked to his casket sobbing, "I'm so sorry". And she lived with that memory till the day she died. "Love does not envy". "Love does not envy". A person generally criticizes the individual who he secretly envies. The man, who is belittling you, is trying to cut you down to his size. Crows only peck at the best fruit. Don't get offended. When you feel yourself turning green with envy, you're getting ripe for trouble. "Love envies not. It's not jealous. It's not possessive".
One husband said, "My wife isn't jealous of my secretary. She isn't jealous of my secretary. She doesn't care how good-looking my secretary is just as long as he's efficient". Paul writes, "Love does not behave itself unseemingly". We live in a generation that adores crudeness. What's wrong with being mannerly? It's still in order to pull the chair out for the lady before she sits down, not as she sits down. It's still alright to open the car door for your wife even after 45 years of marriage. Love is loyal. Love is loyal. Love has self-control. Say that with me. Love has self-control. "Love is not easily provoked". I want to say this: "Easily" was added to the King James' translation. It's not in the original text.
So "Love is not provoked," period. Love is not irritable. Love is not touchy. Love is not fretful. Love is not quick to take offense. Love doesn't walk around with a chip on its shoulders, looking for a way to be offended. A mother said to her son, "It's time for you to get up and get dressed for church". And the son said, "I don't want to go to church. I don't like those people at that church, and those people don't like me. Give me three reasons why I should go to church today". She said, "One, it's mother's day and I'm your mother, and I want you to go: two, you're 45 years old and you should go: thirdly, you're the pastor". "A bell is not a bell until you ring it.
A song is not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love is not love until you give it away". I want you today and the rest of the days of this coming week to look for a way to give love away to people that you say you love. Can we stand to our feet? How many of you in this room can say, pastor, my life has been scared by rejection, rejection of my parents, my spouse, of my siblings. How many of you can say that? Lift your hand where you are. How many of you say, I confess that my love for Christ has grown cold in an atmosphere of apostasy that's in our nation? Can I see your hand? Now pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, I come before your throne in the precious name of Jesus Christ. My life has been scarred by the rejection I have experienced in my past. Heal my heart and mind. I confess that my love for Christ has grown cold in this era of apostasy. I am not happy with the substandard quality of love in my marriage or in my own family. Increase our love one for the another. As a Christian, I know I lack kindness and longsuffering of other people. I want to experience a rebirth of the love of God: for those who have not love, have not God, in Jesus' name. Amen. Give the Lord praise in the house. Amen.