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Watch 2022 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - What Is A Great Church?

Matt Hagee - What Is A Great Church?

Matt Hagee - What Is A Great Church?
Matt Hagee - What Is A Great Church?
TOPICS: Church

A great church is a church that recognizes the faithfulness of God. Why do we come to service each and every Sunday? Not so that we can be blessed, but so that we can bless Him for his goodness and His mercy and His grace in our life. We must remember God's goodness. "Every good and every perfect gift comes from above," that's what the book of James says. That's a great time for you to look at your spouse and say, "You're sent from heaven" no matter what y'all were arguing about in the parking lot.

I know where church people argue. On your way to church. But we must remember God's faithfulness each and every time the doors open up. We live in a culture that is so self-centered: we want to know what we're going to get out of the service. But what happens when you come to service wanting to know what can you pour in? When we remember God's faithfulness, we recognize that everything we have is because of his goodness. He is faithful in all things. He is a God who is faithful to provide. That's why he said, "I shall supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory".

He is faithful to bless you in your going out and in your coming in. He is faithful to increase you for every effort that you make and every seed that you sow. He is faithful to sustain you, because he has given his angels charge over you that will guard you wherever you go. He's faithful in his mercy, because the Bible says that his mercy is renewed with the rising of every sun. He is faithful to heal us, because when you ask in faith believing, you receive. And the Bible says, "By his stripes, we are healed". He is faithful to liberate us, because the Bible says that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. And whom the son sets free is free indeed.

Child of God, if he has been faithful to you, here in this sanctuary this morning, if you can look back at what he has done, if you can take an account today of what he is doing, if you're looking forward to his faithfulness in your tomorrow, then right where you are, I just want you to give the Lord a thunderous round of applause and a mighty shout of praise! A great church is a church that remembers God's faithfulness. And a great church is a church that is alive. Read the verse from Ephesians 2. It says, "It is fitted together and it grows". Say that with me. "It grows". Living things grow. Nothing in your life that's alive isn't growing. If it's not growing, it's dying. Here's what Paul had to say about it.

1 Timothy 3:15, he said, "The church is the house of God". And then he got more specific, "The living God". Say those words with me, "The living God". We considered that it was a crucified Savior that birthed the church, because the Bible says, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin". But it is not a crucified Savior that is Lord over the church. The Bible tells us in the book of Ephesians that Christ is the head of the church, not a crucified Savior, a risen Savior. We need to remember each and every day that we breathe that our Savior lives. Our God is alive. His church is alive. His word is alive. His church is a living, moving being that has the ability to change the world! I don't know about you, but I think our world needs a change. The change comes from here. Not out there, here. You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth. You are the change agent, which means we must live our faith.

A great church is a living church. It's a growing church. It's a church where the presence of God fills the house and lives are touched. It's a church where those who are sick can come and receive a healing touch. It's a church that believes in the signs and wonders that are written about in the Word of God. It's a church that takes authority over powers and principalities. It does not debate the Word of God, but it declares the Word of God. It's a church that's growing. And I thank God that Cornerstone Church is growing. A great church is not only a growing church, but a great church trains the next generation. It has a vision that is greater than just itself. It sees the next generation and trains that generation, because even though they're just a portion of today's population, they are 100% of our future. And the future is under attack. And if they are going to receive the knowledge of the Word of God, we cannot outsource it: we must do it ourselves. But they are worth every effort that we make.

Every year, this church invests millions of dollars in reaching children. Why? Because they need to know the truth about who Jesus Christ is. We're in an all-out war for the future of this nation. We used to gather in the church and we would preach to save souls. Now we're not only preaching to save souls, but we are preaching to ensure the freedom of this generation. You say, "Well how can you say that, preacher"? I didn't say it: Stalin did, Joseph Stalin, who murdered millions of people bringing communism to Russia and turning Russia into the Soviet Union, the USSR. Joseph Stalin made this statement and it's a very true statement, and we cannot forget it. He said, "All it would take for communism to control America is for one generation to forget God".

Even Stalin knew that communism could not compete with God. But if you could convince the people to leave God out, then communism could step in. And we're facing that in these United States. Here's some very interesting facts that were put together by a Reuters' poll, who took a survey 30-years separated. They asked a group of people born between 1927 and 1945, how many of you fit in that category, '27 to '45? God bless you. If you were born between 1927 and 1945, here's what the survey said that you admitted that 75% of the household decisions that you remember growing up as a child or you made as an adult, the Word of God was at some point considered an influence in the decision. Around your dinner table, the Word of God was read. Or whenever your parents chose what to do for the family, the Word of God was considered a resource for the decision that was about to be made. That was in one generation between '27 and '45.

Now how many of you were born after the year 1983? Go ahead and raise your hands. It's okay. You can text me '83. If you were born after the year 1983, the next time they took this poll, here's what they said: four percent of those born after 1983 said the Word of God wasn't even in their house, which means that 96% of the young people, those under the age of their young 30's and their late 20's, 96% said the Word of God had no influence in the house that they lived in. Think about that. All it takes is one generation to forget God. And we have seen that generation now take center stage. Why? Because we, as a church, failed to train up our children in the way they should go.

At Cornerstone Church, I thank God that we have a dedicated team of individuals, who are willing to minister to our children each and every week from the nursery to the children's ministry, to the middle school, to the high school, to the college, to our beautiful school campus that's just a few miles from here. This year, we're going to graduate the largest graduating class that cornerstone has ever seen. And that class has received more than 5.5 million dollars of scholarship funds. Why? Because they were trained in excellence. They were trained that they could do all things through Christ. They were trained to believe that they're here to change the world. And by God's grace, they're going to walk the stage and leave the platform, and go do it for the glory of God.

Think about this: of our graduating seniors, 27 of them are going to go from being a student athlete on our campus to being athletes at the college or the university level. A great church fights for the next generation, because it realizes that the Word of God is a generational book. The Bible says, "His faithfulness endures to all generations". His blessings are for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: a grandfather, a father, and a grandson. The blessings that you read in the Word of God, it says, "Now may the Lord be upon you, your children, and your children too". Why? Because there is a faithfulness that comes with God's blessings. And it goes from generation to generation. And it's worth standing upon and believing in.

Don't believe that just because you don't understand all of the platforms and engagements that your children are in that they don't need you in the middle of their life. Don't allow technology to distance you. Build a bridge across that generational chasm and make sure that they know what the Word of God says about who they are. This is why the Bible says, "Train up your children". Say that with me. "Train up your children". That word "Train" is something that you have to do intentionally. Training does not happen on accident. Training is something that comes through consistency and love. People say, "Well how do you train your child"? Let me tell you something I learned very early at the Hagee house. If it can be fed, it can be trained.

"Train up a child in the way they should go". Train your children that the house of the living God is where they get the answers for life. Train up your children that the Word of God is a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path. Train your children that prayer is the most exciting conversation that they'll ever have on this earth, because they're talking with God, their father, in heaven. Train them so that when the world attacks them, they'll know that the name of the Lord is a strong tower that the righteous can run into it and they're saved. Train them so that they know that when they don't know what to do, according to the book of James, they can ask for wisdom and God will give it to them liberally. Train them so they know what the shield of faith feels like, so that whenever the evil day comes, they don't run from the battle: they stand and face adversity and make history as a warrior generation for the glory of God.

You train your children by getting them connected to a living church, to a great church. We say those things in church, and then people say, "But my kid doesn't want to go to church". Who said your kid gets a choice? A great church is not only a growing church. It's not only a church that's generationally minded. It's not only a living church. But a great church is a church that's filled with people like you, because you are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world. Right now, there is not a nation on the face of the planet that this church does not touch on a daily basis. And you're the reason why. Every prayer that you've prayed, every life that you've touched, every time that you've given, every hour that you sacrificed, all of it has been recorded by the angels in heaven. And based on what the Bible says, I can tell you, "Great is your reward".

You are assured, in the Bible, that there is not one moment of it that has been lost by God. And when we see him face to face, only then will we have a full understanding of the impact that we've made. But cornerstone, you are a great church. And from the bottom of my heart, I thank God for you. Great churches are built upon truth, because the Bible says that he is the way, he is the truth, and he is the life. If he's our cornerstone, then his truth is our foundation. And we live in a world that will not tolerate truth. You want to know what the most unpopular thing in the world to say is? What's true. But here are some truths that the church needs to embrace. First and foremost, we need each other. Nobody needs to go through life alone. That's one of the reasons why we have so many places for you to connect and participate. Because until you serve the Lord, you will not fully know or embrace the joy of being in his church.

When you serve, that's when God pours out his blessings. Until you serve, you're just taking: you're not giving. And Jesus said it's more blessed to give than to receive. But in order for us to serve, we must understand that we need each other. Read the book of Genesis. It says, "It is not good for man to be alone". If it wasn't good for Adam, it's not good for you. And yet, in the church, we divide ourselves each and every way we can. We have churches that are divided by race when there is no race in the Bible. There's only a blood-bought church. We're divided by class. We're divided by tradition. We're divided by preference. And all of those things are individually important. But corporately, when they divide us, they're taking away from us the power that God put into us.

Here's what the Bible says: it says, one of us can put a thousand to flight, two of us can put ten thousand to flight. Moses said that to the children of Israel about the power of God that existed in them. What does that verse tell us? It tells us that when we work together as God's kids, God himself gets involved. Because it's not a matter of mathematics. If one of us puts a thousand to flight, then mathematics simply says that one of us puts a thousand, two of us puts two thousand. Wrong. According to heaven's perspective, when two of God's kids start working together, you get exponential increase in the power that you receive from on high, because God looks down there. And according to his word, he says, "Behold, how blessed and good it is for brethren to dwell together in unity... For there I will command a blessing".

How many of you want God to command a blessing in your life? It's time for us to stop working against each other, stop wasting our time fighting one another, and start working together in the unity of the faith! Church, we cannot afford to lose one more spiritual battle. We cannot afford to shrug our shoulders one more time and hope that something turns out different the next time. We are at war with the world, the flesh, and the devil. And if we work together, let God arise and let his enemies be scattered! What was Jesus' prayer before he left this earth? He said, "Father, that they may be one even as you and I are one: that the world would know you sent me". What a pathetic job we've done of answering that prayer. How much energy have we wasted fighting against our brothers and sisters in Christ instead of walking in unity?

People say, "Well pastor, do you think it's possible"? Of course, it is when we get away from our preference and we focus on our purpose. You see we live in a generation that makes your preference, the way you want it, how you should get it. Pull up to your favorite hamburger shop, they'll ask you, "You want onions, pickles, mustard, and ketchup on that"? "No, I want it this way". And that's the way that we treat church. If it's not what I want, I'm going to go someplace else. But here's what the Bible says in acts 2:46. It says, "They were daily in one accord".

Now how were they in one accord? They put their preferences aside and they focused on their purpose. Their purpose was to take all of the gospel to all of the world. And they focused on that purpose talking about Jesus Christ crucified, risen, and looking forward to him coming again. If we, as a church, can get back to that, there isn't anyone who professes the name of Jesus that we cannot walk with. Another truth that the church needs to be built upon is our divine code of conduct. We have a divine code of conduct and it comes in Ephesians 4:32. Here's what the Bible says: it says, "Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as Christ forgave you". That one verse can change the world. "Be kind". Say that with me. "Be kind".

Now it's going to be put to the test, because in just a minute, you're going to be dismissed, and then you've got to share that parking lot. There's going to be people that need to be let in. You're going to act like you didn't see them. No, don't look. Don't look. "Be kind". What the world is in desperate shortage of these days is kindness. The world is filled with every kind of temper tantrum and rant and rage. But what could kindness do? Kindness is a healing balm that enables people to work together. Kindness can undo what years of abuse have done. Kindness humbly serves with the words, "How may I help you" with no promise of recognition in return. Kindness is a seed that you sow into the soul of another, knowing that the harvest doesn't come from the person, but the harvest comes from God above. Be kind to one another, not just kind, but the Bible says, "Be tenderhearted".

What's the opposite of tender hearted? Hard hearted. How many of you've ever met a hard-hearted Christian? It's an oxymoron. You can't be both. You may go to church, but if you've got a hard heart, God needs to work on you. Tender-hearted people are not judgmental people. Tender-hearted people see people and believe the best in them. Tender-hearted people see brokenness and they want to know how can I help restore you. Tender-hearted people are baptized in grace that will not allow someone's faults or shortcomings to keep them from loving you. Jesus Christ was tenderhearted towards us, because the Bible says that while we were yet sinners, he loved us. And he gave himself for us.

How many of you are thankful that he didn't wait for us to be lovable before he loved us? What would happen if the church was to show the world that kind of tender heartedness, if kindness was our motto and tender heartedness was our fruit? But if we're going to be kind and tenderhearted, before we can do that, you know what we have to do according to Ephesians 4? We must forgive. "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as Christ forgave you". Jesus believed so much in forgiveness that he made this statement: "If you are praying at the altar and you remember that you have an offense, go and correct it. And then come back and pray".

That was a controversial thing for him to say to the religious crowd that he was speaking to, because as far as they were concerned, there was no more important conversation than you could have with God, the Creator of heaven and earth. And here, Jesus Christ is saying if you're talking to God, the Creator, and you remember you have an offense with Charlie, you go fix it with Charlie before you finish with God. Why? Why would he say such a thing? Because God loves your enemy as much as he loves you. And that's what forgiveness remembers. We have a code of conduct, "Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as Christ forgave you".

A great church does those things. Finally, a great church recognizes that God is great and greatly to be praised. We remember what Psalm 118 says, "This is the day that the Lord has made. And we will rejoice and be made glad in it". I don't know what kind of day you're having, but I know who made the day. And I can promise you that while the things that we dwell in here on earth change just as fast as you can flip the television channel, nothing in heaven changes. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.

If you woke up this morning, the one who sits upon the throne has a plan for you. And that plan and that purpose is that you would give him honor and you would give him glory, and you would magnify him in this moment and time, because his plans for you are for you to prosper. He'll not let any harm come near your dwelling. Everything you put your hand to for his kingdom's sake, he'll cause it to thrive. But we remember that he is great and greatly to be praised.
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