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Matt Hagee - The Light of The World


Matt Hagee - The Light of The World
Matt Hagee - The Light of The World

The world we live in is in a dark hour: and yet, we are called "The light of the world". Evil is on the rise and the church is in retreat. Why? Because we have forgotten who we are, and we have forfeited our place of influence in this culture. Simply stated, we quit shining. The darkness of this culture has permeated every area of our lives. It's in front of us constantly in our entertainment. It's on the news every hour on the hour. It's in the paper. It's in the school. It's in our system of government, in our politics, in our streets, in our culture war, in our race war, in our economic war. Everything around us is centered on dividing individuals rather than uniting. And we wonder what's wrong.

I'll tell you what's wrong. We, the light of the world, have hidden the light under a basket. We've retreated into the doors of the sanctuary rather than influence a world that is desperate for truth and groping in darkness. We have not taken the words of the Savior to truth that says, "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven". You and I are here for this reason: to let the world know who Jesus is. We do the work, not the government. Read what the Bible says. Jesus speaking in Matthew 5, it says, "You are the light of the world. Let your light shine", say that with me, "Let your light shine that when they see your works, they glorify your father". Let's do the math. The more work the church does, the more glory goes to God. The more work the government does, the more your money goes to the government.

Now what would you rather see? God get more glory or you get more taxes? It's just that simple. We are his hands. We are his feet. We do the work. Wherever he sends us, we shine. That means you take this light with you when you leave this sanctuary and you shine in your workplace. You shine in the hallways of your school. You shine in your home. You shine in your community. They don't need to ask you who you serve. They need to know who you serve by the light that shines in you. When you shine like that, the world will know who Jesus is. We are the church, not a religion, but a relationship. And this relationship is with the person of Jesus Christ, because he is the door. No man comes unto the father but by him. I had our graphic design team put this together, so that we would understand the picture of the church in the Bible. First, we have the crown of thorns, and it's connected to another crown that is worn by royalty.

Here, this crown of thorns was worn by our crucified Savior on the day that he gave his life that we might become sons and daughters of Jesus Christ. As our crucified Savior, he founded the church. This is his foundation. He is our Savior. That's what he said, in Matthew 16 when he said to Peter: he said, "Upon this rock, I will build my church".

Now a lot of people have confused the fact that they think that he is talking to Peter. Oh, Peter is the rock of the church. That's not at all what he was doing. He was talking to Peter about himself. He is the rock. The crucified Savior gave his life that we might be able to have the church. But you need to understand the crucified Savior is the foundation of the church. This Savior, who's wearing a crown of royalty, he is the one who has risen from the dead. And he is seated at the right hand of God the Father. And he has been given the name that is above every name. And at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father. We do not serve a crucified Savior: we serve a risen king, and his name is Jesus Christ.

Now why are those crowns surrounding the world? Those crowns are surrounding the world, because the church of Jesus Christ is not just here on the earth: the church of Jesus Christ goes all the way back to the day of Pentecost until late last night. And there are greater counts of witnesses in heavenly places today than we can even number. What I'm telling you is the unseen church is greater than the seen church. Those who are in heavenly places looking down upon us today are telling us with all that they've got: don't give up the good fight of faith. Continue to profess the mighty name of Jesus Christ. The victory is on the way. The trump of God is about to sound. And you are going to receive the soul-winner's crown. Whatever you do, church, don't quit shining! The unseen is greater than the seen. Don't forget that. What you cannot see is greater than what you can see. The Bible says, "He has given his angels charge over you". You can't see them but they're greater than anything that'll come against you.

In the Old Testament, Elisha is walking with his servant into the city of Dothan. And the Syrian army surrounds the city, because they want to take Elisha captive. One king sends his entire army to capture one man. Why? Because Elisha was telling the king of Israel what the king of Syria was going to do before the king of Syria made up his mind. You talk about icloud. Elisha had some kind of cloud, man. And so this Syrian king said, "Go capture that man and bring him to me". Now whenever he gets to the city and the army surrounds the city, the servant of Elijah looks over the wall, and he sees an entire army. And he runs to Elisha with his resignation letter. He says, "The Lord has called me to the mission field". He falls at Elisha's feet. He says, "O my Lord, what are we going to do"? And Elisha simply touches him and he says these words: he says, "Lord, open his eyes that he may see". "Greater are those who are with us than those who are with them".

Elisha's servant says, excuse me. There's just two of us. There's 10.000 of them. But whenever he opened his eyes after that prayer, what he saw standing on all of the mountains around that army were all of the angels in heaven that God had assigned to two of his children on earth. And suddenly, he recognized that the unseen army was greater than the army that could be counted. What I'm telling you in this church service today is if you are a part of the church, then you have an unseen fighting force that is standing beside you. It's in front of you. It's behind you. Its hands are upon you. It's carrying you: lest you dash your foot against a stone. It's protecting you so that no weapon formed against you should prosper. It is putting hands full on purpose along the path of life that you are walking. It's preparing a table before you in the presence of your enemies. It is making sure that surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life. And whatever you do, it shall prosper.

Child of God, you have nothing to fear, because the God that we serve is greater than the world we live in! He said, "I'll build my church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Now what was he saying to each and every person who wants to be a part of the church? One, there is a foundational truth that we must all come to grips with. And that truth is, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God". There is no other way to be a part of his church. You don't get to come in by your rules and your terms. You have but one choice, and that choice is to profess the fact that he is the Christ, the son of the living God. This church is a church that is built on a profession of faith. And that profession of faith is not something that you can figure out with your feelings, with your eyes, with your ears, or with your mind. It's nothing that you can come to the logical conclusion of. It's a simple truth, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God".

Peter proclaimed this truth at Pentecost, and 3.000 got saved. The apostles, in the 1st century, they went from town to town, preaching this one truth, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God, crucified, risen, and coming again". And they turned the world upside down. They brought the Roman Empire to its knees with a righteous revolution based on this one truth. This one truth, whenever we gather in this place and it's proclaimed, the presence of God comes and fills this house and begins to touch every life. Every person who is here and every person who is watching, this one truth, "Thou art the Christ" is all that you need to stand upon. Because when you're standing upon the foundation of who he is, then you can receive all that he gives.

If you're here today, this truth can turn the sickness in your body into a testimony of healing. If you're here today, this truth will bring deliverance to every heart that is tormented. If you're here today and you listen what the voice of the spirit is saying, it'll set captives free. Those who are enslaved to addiction, the chains can be broken. Those who are bound by the past, you can run with freedom today, because this truth is alive, this truth is powerful, and this truth never fails! Think about what the Bible says about the truth of his word. In Hebrews, it says, "It's sharper than any two-edged sword".

Think about that. A sword was the common weapon of the day. If you were going to protect yourself or go on the offensive, you needed a sword. And what the Bible says, according to the writers of the New Testament, is that the Word of God is a weapon to the child of God. If this is what we can possess, why don't we? How can we have a church on every corner and have a world so messed up? Because we don't shine. We're worried: what are they going to do when they find out we're Christians? How on earth can we have a protected status for every type of individual walking on the face of the earth today, but it's open season on people of faith? Because we've refused to shine. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind. Shine. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me".

We live in an age that has turned against the church. We used to be one nation under God. And now, as a nation, we're turning against the church. Recently, the associated press put out a poll asking two questions. One, is religious extremism a problem? And two, what are the signs of religious extremism? Eighty-two percent of the people who were polled said that, yes, religious extremism is a problem. And then here is what they called an extremist: they said an extremist is someone who reads the Bible in public. They said an extremist is someone who shares their faith with others without solicitation, attends services on a regular basis, volunteers their time, or gives of their resources. Based on that definition, let me congratulate you on being listed as a religious extremist. Let me tell you how honored I am to pastor an extreme church, how much I enjoy the fact that we are extremely in love with Jesus Christ, who gave his life that we might be set free. We are extremely forgiven. We have been extremely redeemed. And our Savior deserves an extreme amount of praise. Now give the Lord a shout in his house today!

Christ is our foundation. Once we understand our foundation, then we can accomplish our function. But first, we have to see him as our foundation. Look at what the Bible says in Ephesians 2:20 and 22. It says that we, the church, have been built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. That means the work that they did, we should do. And it says, "Jesus Christ himself". You see that word, "Himself"? "He is the chief cornerstone". That means that what the apostles did and what the prophets did was built upon a stone that was greater than they were. He is the chief cornerstone. The Bible says, "In whom the whole building", so that means everything we do, if it's not centered on the cornerstone, it's not part of the church. "The whole building is fit together and it grows". It grows. Why? Because the cornerstone does not shrink. It is big enough, and broad enough, and strong enough: that if you can dream it, God can do it.

We live in a world that has said the church is shrinking. But according to the New Testament, the church should be growing. It grows. And what it grows into is a temple. A temple is where the abiding presence of God dwells. It was in the temple that the presence of God stayed so that he could be with his people. It's in the temple that you and I go to find our hour of need met, to find forgiveness, to find restoration, to find healing. You need to understand that the house of the living God on the earth is the temple of his Holy Spirit, which is why David said, "I was glad when they said unto me, 'let us go into the house of the Lord'". David was a king, but he recognized that even as a king, there was still one who is King of kings and Lord of lords. And David wanted to be in his presence.

Do you realize what the Bible says: "That wherever two or three of you are gathered in his name, there he is in the midst of you"? That means that right here at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas and all over the world wherever you're watching, the guest of honor is Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And to be able to spend time in his presence is our high honor and privilege! We worship you, Lord! We thank you, Lord! We give you praise, Almighty God, because you have given us all things! And by you, all things are created! We give you thanks! We give you praise! Now shout "Hallelujah"!

When you look in the sanctuary where we're sitting, there's a lot of things to see. And you might pick out your favorite part. But I assure you: my favorite part of this sanctuary is the foundation that you don't see. Why? Because without that, the walls would fall and the roof would cave in, and that's pretty bad. The unseen is greater than the seen. The foundation of the church, Jesus Christ, is greater than the church. What you build upon the foundation determines the success of the building. And if the church is going to grow, if the church in America is going to succeed, there are three things that we've got to put in this building project: the first, faith in God. Say that with me. Faith in God.

This is what Jesus said in Mark, "Have faith in God". He didn't say, "Have faith in the government". He said, "Have faith in God". Why? Because he doesn't fail. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". That's what Hebrews 11:6 says. Faith is the life-blood flow of everything that a child of God can ever possess. And without faith, you are out of circulation. And the longer you stay out of circulation, the closer you are to dying. You have to have faith if you're going to be a part of this church. How did you get saved? You got saved by grace through faith. They had to work together. You had to believe it before you could receive it. The second element of the church if it is going to grow is the power of the Holy Spirit. "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you".

You need to understand you cannot have church without God the Father, Jesus Christ the son, and the Holy Spirit. Why? Because all three are one. The power of the Holy Spirit is what birthed the church. The church was not born until the spirit came upon it. Acts 1:8, Jesus said, "You shall receive power", what shall you receive? Power. "When the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shall be witnesses to me". As witnesses, they were shining everywhere that they went. They went to prison. They were shining. They were shipwrecked. They were shining. They stood before kings. They were shining. They went out in the street. They were shining. Why? Because they had the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:1 says that power came when the day of Pentecost had fully come and the spirit filled the room. And the church was born because those 120 quickly became 3.000 when, by the power of the spirit, they proclaimed the truth of Jesus Christ, and they began to win the entire world for his glory. Child of God, what you need to understand is that as a member of his church, you possess the spirit and you possess the power. You have the power of his name and it is a name that is above every name. When you mention the name of Jesus, your troubles vanish. When you worship the name of Jesus, you send your enemies fleeing. When you ask in the name of Jesus, whatever you ask the father in his name, he will do it!

Child of God, you are a powerful being here on earth, because the Spirit of God dwells in you! Every commandment, every directive, everything that God asks us to do through the divine-inspired, Holy Spirit scripture can be summed up in one word, shine. Choose you this day whom you will serve. Shine. "He who wins souls is wise". Shine. Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world". Shine. Malachi 3, "Give and bring all of your tithes into the storehouse". Shine. Acts 20:35, "It is better to give than to receive". Shine. Ephesians 6, "Put on the whole armor of God and take a stand in the evil day". Shine.

Oftentimes, people say, "I want to know what God wants me to do". I hear the spirit shouting from heavenly places today, "I want you to shine. I want you to shine. I want you to shine"! Why? Because in shining for me on earth, you'll turn the eyes of those who are on the earth towards the throne. And by giving them the opportunity to see who I am, they can receive my son, and the church will grow. Shine.

With every head bowed and every eye closed, you're in this room and you say, pastor, I participate in church, but I don't shine. It's just something I attend. I don't let it change me. I don't let it move me. I'm not shining for God and for my Savior, Jesus Christ, in my workplace. They don't even know I'm a Christian. I'm not shining for him in my home, because my family doesn't read the Bible. We don't pray together. I'm not shining for him in my finances, because I'm not trusting him in faith and tithing. I'm not shining for him in my community, because I'm not telling others who he is and what he's done for me. But today I realize that I can't afford not to shine anymore. I've got to start doing something for God and I've got to start today.

If that's you, if you want to make that commitment to shine for his glory, I just want you to raise one hand of faith in the air today. And now if you've raised that hand, I want you put the other one in the air right next to it. This is a sign of surrender right here. It says, whatever you do, I'm good for it. So with every head bowed, I want everyone in this room to repeat this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus Christ, today I thank you that through your shed blood I have been set free. I am redeemed and you have given me everything. Now I want to shine for you everywhere, because you deserve the glory for all things. Forgive me for not being the witness I should be, and help me to be the one you want me to be, so that men would see your light in me, and give you glory and praise, and honor, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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