John Hagee - A Christmas Love Story
Christmas is the celebration of a child, God's gift of love. When God wanted to conquer Pharaoh and destroy mighty Egypt, he sent baby Moses to smash the chains of slavery. When God wanted to expose sin in Israel, he sent baby Samuel, who the Bible says, "Served the Lord all the days of his life". The only man in the Bible that says that. When God wanted to crush Satan and his evil empire, he sent his only son in the womb of a virgin, born in Bethlehem's manger. There was no OB/GYN there, saying, "How do you feel, baby"? There was no epidural. There was no lobby full of people waiting with gifts to give to whatever it might be. Born in a cave, mysterious, his wonders to perform.
Get it straight. Christ coming to earth was not to establish the economic madness we call Christmas. It was to crush the head of that old serpent, Satan. It was to break the chains that enslave you. It was the fulfillment of the promise God made in the book of Genesis, "The seed of the woman (Mary) shall crush the head of the serpent". That's the devil. I am here to proudly announce that Christmas was the beginning of a major-league fight for your soul. And Jesus Christ lived, and died, and rose from the dead: victor over death, hell, and the grave! Give him praise and glory in this house!
Look at this awesome word from the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, concerning the birth of Christ. "For unto us, a child is born". Say that with me. "For unto us, a child is born". "Us," who? "Us," everybody? No, absolutely not. Isaiah's speaking only to believers. Why? Because a gift must be received before it's yours. I can offer you a gift. But if you don't receive it, it's still mine. If you have not received Christ, he is not yours. Going to church does not make you a Christian. Singing a song, giving a gift does not make you a Christian. God wants you to be a follower of his son. Because you receive him as God's gift to you, you receive his redemption at the cross. If you have not confessed him publicly as Savior and Lord, there is no salvation, there is no hope, there is no eternal life. He is not yours!
Let me say it very clearly: you're not living until you know Jesus Christ. There is no mansion over the hilltop. There is no authority to bind the powers and principalities of darkness. There is no divine prosperity. There is no claim to joy. There is no peace that surpasses understanding. There is no love that is unspeakable. There is no home in heaven. My question to you, the greatest you'll ever have to answer: have you received the gift of Jesus Christ into your life? If you have, you're on your highway to heaven. If you have not, you are never going to be there. It cannot be said more clearly than that. "Unto us, a child is born". This speaks of Christ' humanity. He began his life like any human, an infant born naked in a cave. The government was trying to tax his mother and father. That's what they were doing, making a road trip to be taxed by Caesar.
Do you want to know why babies cry when they're born? You're born naked, somebody's beating you on the rear end, and you already owe the government $75.000. It's enough to make anybody cry. Hebrews 4 states, "He was tempted with every temptation common to man: yet, he lived a sinless life". He wept like we weep. He felt what you feel. He experienced scandal. His birth was questioned then and now. Religious persecution, he had that. Racial hatred: he was a Jewish person living in a Roman gentile world. He had that. Betrayal, he had that. Peter denied him often, as did others. There was an injustice. The judicial system failed him when Pontius Pilate said, "Find no fault with this man".
According to Roman law, the trial should have been over! But Pontius Pilate, was not seeking the truth: he was seeking to please the people. And he turned Jesus loose into the hands of mad men, who wanted to kill him. He experienced rejection. He experienced shame: yet, he was loyal to his father. And in the darkest moment, representing you in the Garden of Gethsemane, he said, "Not my will but thine be done". And he walked to the cross as the champion of Calvary. He hung his head and died: that God's gift to you can bring to you everlasting life, can bring to you peace that surpasses understanding. In the darkest valley you will ever live in, the light of his joy shows up. Whenever you call, he appears because he is the awesome, mighty, all-knowing, all-power, resurrected Son of God. Give him praise in the house of the Lord!
Listen to the next phrase, "Unto us, a son is given," not born, but given. Why is that word there? This speaks of the preexistence of Jesus Christ. He existed before his birth: therefore, he was given. "God so loved the world that he gave his only son". Jesus was there on creation's morning when God flung the glittering stars against the velvet of the night, as celestial evangelist to say that there is somebody in this universe greater than you and i. He was there when the angels drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. He was there when Abraham climbed mount Moriah and lifted the razor-sharp dagger to snuff out the life of Isaac, the son of covenant. He loved God. He was there when Moses placed his rod into the Red Sea, and the blast of the nostrils of God caused the waters to split, and the children of Israel, over a million in number, walked across on dry ground. It took several days for that to happen! He was there when the three Hebrew children walked into the fiery furnace, and they walked out without the smell of smoke upon them. He was the fourth man in the fire!
They did not bend. They did not bow. They did not burn in that fire. He was there last night when you wept with a broken heart, when tears ran down your cheeks in hot liquid streams. He was there when you walked to the grave of your dearest friend or of your relative. He felt what you feel. He felt what you feel. He was there when your doctor said you are not going to survive. He is there, because his name is Jehovah Shammah. "Shammah" means "The Lord, who is there". He'll be there when you need him! "Call upon me," he said, "And I will answer you and I will show you great and mighty things". Whisper the majestic name "Jesus," and the angels of heaven flock to your defense! He stands there in the highest heavens prepared to meet your need! Give him praise in the house of God!
Daniel 2:44 says, "And the God of heaven will set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed and it will stand forever". The Lord's prayer, say it. "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory"... Yeah. Ah, it's never going to end. When Christ returns to earth, he's going to set up his kingdom in the Temple Mount, on the Temple Mount in the City of Jerusalem, Israel. Kings and queens shall come from the four corners of the earth and bow down before him, because the Bible says, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father". It's not if you're going to bow, partner: it's just when are you going to bow? What will we hear when his kingdom comes?
In the theatre of my mind, I hear this: we bring you the news tonight from Jerusalem, Israel. A four-square city has come down out of heaven and has set over the holy City of Jerusalem. King Jesus is sitting on the throne of his father, king David, and has announced a kingdom that shall never end, a kingdom of absolute peace and tranquility for every man and woman on planet earth! He has just defeated all the enemies of Israel at the Battle of Armageddon. That's a sermon in itself. The antichrist and false prophet have just been cast alive into the lake of fire. Happy day. Happy day. In the fields, lions are laying down with the lambs in the fields. Men are beating their swords into plow shears and they're studying war no more. The armies of the world are dismantling and dismissing, because there is no war. There is no need for an army anymore, because there is no war.
The jails are empty. The hospitals are vacant. There is no sickness. There is no disease, because the great physician, Jesus Christ, rules and reigns from the City of Jerusalem. There are trees whose leaves, when you eat those leaves, gives you eternal health. That's in the Book of Revelation, for those of you who are looking at me like I'm a steroid here. He sits on a throne of his father king David. And the Word of God will go forth from Jerusalem to the ends of the world every day. That's in the Bible. All other telecasts will be permanently suspended. King Jesus is going to have the first and last word. He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. Merry Christmas! That's on the way!
"His name shall be called Wonderful". That phrase translates "Full of wonder," "Full of wonder". Jesus was full of wonder at his birth. Jesus was born of a virgin. He was announced by angels. He was feared by demons. He was surrounded by shepherds and kings, bringing boxes of gold, and Frankincense and myrrh. That's a birth that's full of wonder. He was wonderful in power. He commanded the winds and waves of the Sea of Galilee. He commanded demons to come out with a word. He looked at the sick and said, "Rise and be healed". And whatever they're suffering, they immediately became whole. He walked to the cave of his friend, Lazarus, and said, "Lazarus, come forth". And a dead man walked out of his grave because he was full of wonder. He was full of wonder. He was full of wonder. And that's the God that we serve right now. He is still full of wonder! He still has all power in heaven and in earth! He is still the way maker! He is still the King of kings and Lord of lords! Give him a shout of praise in the house of God!
When he saved you from the gutter of sin, he was full of wonder. When he blessed you with prosperity, he was full of wonder. When he made a way when there seemed to be no way, he was full of wonder. When he took your shattered life and your shattered dreams, and rebuilt your life into a thing of majestic beauty, he was wonderful. He was wonderful. And he is still wonderful. Merry Christmas! "His name shall be called counselor". Say that with me. "His name shall be called counselor". "Counselor" is someone who has the answers to the greatest questions of life. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life". Unfortunately, in our secular humanistic society, most people turn everywhere for guidance except Jesus Christ.
Are you looking for answers? Let me give it to you very simply: Jesus Christ has the answer. He is the answer. Everything you're looking for, every secret of life, every secret of health, every secret of prosperity, every secret of family unity, every secret of national survival is in this book. His name is above other names by accomplishment. All high-sounding titles, which earthly commanders give to each other are full of vanity and ego. Alexander the Great, that's a great high-sounding title for a man who died at the age of 33 with syphilis. He was not great: he couldn't conquer himself. "Herod the great" is a lofty title for a man who murdered nine out of ten of his wives. How would you like to marry that guy? Herod demanded that on the day of his death, his only son be executed so Israel would have a reason to mourn.
"Herod the great" is a lofty title but he was a cold-blooded killer. He was a monster. Today he screams from the fires of hell. There's one man, who walked across the stage of history, whose greatness is greater than human tongue can tell. He is the great I am. He is the great physician. He is the great shepherd of the sheep, who guides and provides. Never in human history was there a child who was born a living God from the womb of a virgin, but Jesus did. Never in history was there a man wounded by Satan: yet, who crushed the head of Satan, but Jesus did. Never in history was there one who was the Savior of men: yet, he was crucified by men, but Jesus did. I'm talking about what makes Jesus great. Never in history was a man, who died, and was buried, and rose on the third day just like he said he would. He is our joy. He is our hope. He is our salvation. The question is: do you know him? The question is: do you love him? The question is: have you accepted him as your Lord and Savior, and do you serve him?
His name is a precious name. "Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious". Say that with me. "Unto you, therefore, who believe he is... Precious". You know how few Christians see Jesus as precious? He's not precious to unbelievers: he's an aggravation. He's a nuisance, he's anathema. To those who believe, he is precious. He is precious for what he has done. "Upon this rock," he says, "I have built my church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". At Calvary, he conquered the powers of principalities. When he shouted, "It is finished," what happened? "He descended," the Bible says, "Into hell". He introduced himself as the lion of the tribe of Judah to the prince of darkness and to every demon in hell. He said, "I am the conqueror from Calvary. I have just defeated you. From this day forward, you have been defeated. From this moment for all of eternity, when one of my children comes to the gates (the government, if you will) of hell and uses the authority of my name, you do exactly what they say, because they are covered with blood. And I will destroy you if you touch them".
You have that kind of power, in the Bible. He is precious because he has adopted us. Saint Paul, I'm talking about the gentiles now. Saint Paul said, "We (the gentiles) were without hope, without God, cut off from the blessings of Abraham," yet, he grafted us into the family at the cross. I am looking here today at royalty, royalty, royalty, royalty. The royal blood of heaven is flowing in your veins. I have been around real royalty in my life. But never this many in one place. You are sons and daughters of the Most High God. You are. You are daughters of the king. At Calvary, he conquered the powers and principalities: and he shouted, "It is finished," and it is over. His name is a saving name. The angel said to Mary, "You shall call his name Jesus: for it is he that shall save the people from their sins". What does it mean to be saved? It means you have accepted the gift of Jesus Christ. You say, "Preacher, that's where you started". That's exactly what I'm saying here. Until you receive the gift, there's no merry Christmas for you, not now, not ever. "For it is he that shall save". "For it is he that will save".
Abraham cannot save you. Buddha cannot save you. Muhammad cannot save you. Humanism cannot save you. Socialism cannot save you. Education cannot save you. Fraternal rings cannot save you. Education without Jesus Christ only produces an intellectual barbarian. What's that mean? In history, those who were leaders of Hitler's Nazi army, many of them were all multiple degrees. Some of them had doctor's degrees. And they took innocent Jewish babies and threw them alive into the fires of the ovens of Auschwitz. They were intellectual barbarians. We have intellectual barbarians in America's colleges and universities, teaching your children that you're paying $60.000 a year for them to brainwash them: that the Bible is an antiquated document and should not be listened to. Only Jesus can save your soul, brother. That is the Gospel.
Isaiah 45:22 says, "Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth". Hear that phrase? "All the ends of the earth". This does not mean remove geographically. It means those who are removed from God. It means the prodigal in the pigpen. He may be two blocks down the road, but he's far from God. It means the prostitute caught in the act of adultery. She may be across the street, but she's still far from God. It means the casual Christian, sitting in America's churches, singing about a heaven they're never going to see. They are religious and lost. They're having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof. The Bible says, "Though your sin be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow". Blood has a strange chemistry. Human blood stains, and you can't get rid of that stain.
We have, in our membership, a man who was in the San Antonio police force for many years. And solving murders was his responsibility. And he said, "You could tell exactly what happened at the murder scene by the blood stains, because they cannot be removed". But there is the blood of Jesus Christ that washes all the stains in your life away. You become white as snow, buried in the deepest sea, never to be remembered against you anymore. "The blood of Jesus Christ," John 1:7. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin," "All sin," "All sin". How much? Hallelujah. Forever buried in the deepest sea! You are as pure as the blood of Jesus Christ can make you! Give the Lord a shout of praise in the house of God!
Soon and very soon, the trump of God is going to sound. The dead in Christ are going to rise. And we, which are live and remain shall be caught up in the heavens to be with the Lord forever in the twinkling of an eye. Shout, saints of God. Shout for joy. The Most High God is coming. Merry Christmas! The king is coming! Merry Christmas! The Lord of hosts, he is the Lord! And there is none like him! Bless his holy name! Bless his holy name! Remain standing. Remain standing. Bow your heads for just a moment. How many of you in this room can say, pastor, I have not received the gift of Jesus into my life. I have not allowed him to be Lord of my life. And today, I want to receive the gift that was offered in Bethlehem's manger. I want you to pray this prayer with me, every one of you.
Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I receive Jesus Christ as the gift of my life that cleanses me: that lives within me: to whom I love, and adore, and worship, in Jesus' name. Amen.