Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Giving Honor to Whom Honor is Due

Matt Hagee - Giving Honor to Whom Honor is Due

Matt Hagee - Giving Honor to Whom Honor is Due
Matt Hagee - Giving Honor to Whom Honor is Due

When you read the words of the apostle Paul in Romans, the 13 chapter it says to give honor to whom honor is due. And tonight I not only stand here as a son, but I stand here as a disciple. I stand here as a church member. I stand here as a man to give honor to my father, to my pastor, to my mentor, and to someone that I will cherish and thank God for every day that I draw breath, pastor Hagee. Before we get into the text of the evening, the Bible tells us, "He who is wise in his words and humble in his heart, he will stand before kings". And indeed pastor has been a voice to leaders, not only in this nation, but in this state and around the world. And tonight, pastor, we have greetings being brought to you in honor of your 60th anniversary from the governor of the state of Texas, governor Greg Abbott.

Greg Abbott: Hi. I'm governor Greg Abbott. And I want to say, "Thank you, pastor John Hagee, for your lifelong devotion to sharing the Word of God. And congratulations on 60 remarkable years of ministry". You have made such a difference in so many lives in the San Antonio community, in the state of Texas, and across the entire world. Through your Christians united for Israel, you have inspired millions of people of faith to stand in solidarity with Israel. And you have strengthened the important bond between the Christian and Jewish communities. Now, I also want to express my deep gratitude for your commitment to defending life. Through the sanctuary of hope, you provide a safe home for expectant women who have nowhere else to turn, so that they can give their unborn child the gift of life. Thank you, again, for your dedication to spreading the gospel. And may God forever bless you and your family. And may God forever bless the great state of Texas.

Not only did governor Abbott send that tribute, but as you know, pastor is an individual who has done a lot of wonderful work to bless the state of Israel, to support the leadership in Israel. And the highest-ranking member of the prime minister's office, the ambassador from the state of Israel to the United States, ambassador Ron Dermer, sends these words.

Ron Dermer: Pastor Hagee, I want to congratulate you on 60 years of your ministry. There is an expression that comes from the Talmud, "That, which emanates from the heart, penetrates the heart". Pastor Hagee, your support for Israel emanates from the heart and has penetrated the heart of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Thirty-six years ago, at a time when there was great criticism against Israel, you made a decision that the people of your church should stand with Israel. And you hosted a night to honor Israel. And since that night, you have hosted 36 years in a row, this remarkable outpouring of support for Israel in your community. And your idea has spread across the United States.

And over ten years ago, during another time of great criticism towards Israel, you decided it was important for leaders of the United States to know the tremendous support that Israel enjoys from millions of Christians across the United States. So you decided to establish Christians united for Israel, CUFI. And that has been a powerful voice that makes clear how important Israel is to millions and millions of Americans throughout this country. And it has been invaluable, educating elected officials about the enormous challenges that Israel faces, and how important it is to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Israel.

And pastor Hagee, I know how this year, you played such a critical role in persuading and supporting the president in his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a truly historic event that will not be forgotten by the Jewish people. So pastor Hagee, Diana, I want to thank you both for everything that you have done for Israel and everything that I know you will continue to do for the state of Israel and for the Jewish people.

My words come from the writings of Paul to Timothy. The reason that I think these words fit is because Paul was a pastor. And he trained up a young pastor to take a congregation that he dearly loved in the church of Ephesus. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy. And in both of those letters, he gave him clear instruction about what was required in order to lead the body of Christ and the faithful believers in that congregation, and to make sure that regardless of the world that they lived in: that they were always going to be in right relationship with God the Father in heaven. You need to understand that whenever you stand behind a pulpit, and you look out at a congregation, it's not an audience, it's not a group that is to be entertained: it's souls that God has laid in your hand to keep and care for until he returns. And therefore, it is with this heart that I share words tonight from scripture, as they echo through my soul as a reflection of what my father has taught me.

We begin in 2 Timothy 1:11 and 12. These words Paul writes. He says, "I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher to the gentiles. For this reason, I also suffer things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed". Say that with me. "I am not ashamed". "For I know in whom I have believed. And I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him until that day". All of my life, I have known in whom my father has believed. I never had to wonder what John Hagee felt: he was always clearly, freely, and willingly able to share. I would have people come up to me as a child, and they would ask me questions like, "What would your dad do if..."

And the good news is, in my house, there was no "If". We knew what dad would do, because he let us know very clearly that we had guiding principles in our lives. And those guiding principles were clearly outlined by the Word of God. His five kids would run into his house with all kinds of requests and all kinds of lobbying efforts to get some rule amended in our life. And we would always use this excuse. And maybe, parents, you would relate to this excuse. But we would come in, and we would say, "But the kids across the street are doing it. And everybody's doing it". And dad would look at us very calmly, and he'd say, "I don't care what they're doing. You don't belong to them: you belong to me. And in this house, we live by this book".

Now in my younger days, I have to admit that that speech was not welcomed with the kind of applause that you just gave. But I can stand before you tonight and tell you before God and these witnesses that I thank my Heavenly Father that my earthly father had the courage and the tenacity to do what the Word of God said was right and not what the culture said was right. He knew whom he believed in. And in all seasons, he believed that God is able. Say that with me. God is able. When others didn't believe in the vision that was in his heart, he believed that God was able. When it didn't seem like provision was going to be met in order for the vision to come to pass, he still believed that God was able. When others came in and said that these are the natural circumstances that we faced, and by those natural circumstances, we should have utterly failed: he still stood in his firm faith that God was able.

And I too, believe that God is able. I believe that God is able to make our tomorrows greater than any of our yesterdays. I believe that as long as we live and breathe, God has a purpose for us, and that purpose is to change the world for the glory of Jesus Christ. I believe that there isn't a problem that is so big that God cannot solve it. And there isn't a mountain so large that he cannot move it. And there isn't a storm too great that he cannot calm it, not only because I've heard, but because I have seen in the life of my father what God can do. I believe that he is able to keep that which we commit to him. Not only did my father teach me to believe that God was able, but he taught me that in order to succeed in this life, you must be willing to endure.

2 Timothy 2:3, it says very clearly, "Therefore, you must endure". Say that with me: "Therefore, you must endure". The Bible says, "Hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ". The one word that jumps out of this verse, and it's very clear, is "Must". It doesn't give you an option. It says that it's a certainty. If what you want to do is serve God in this life, you have just signed up for suffering. Congratulations. Welcome to the body of Christ. There hasn't been a conscious day in my life that I did not know that I was going to be and wanted to be the pastor of Cornerstone Church. I didn't believe that God called me to ministry. I believed God called me to pastor right here. And all of my life, I can honestly tell you that has been what I have wanted to do.

When I was old enough to talk and walk, I would tell anybody who asked me, "I'm going to be the pastor of this church". And they would pat me on the head, and they would say, "Oh, you're so cute". And I would look at them in stubborn defiance, and say, "Cute, nothing. I'm going to be the pastor of this church". And as I grew older, that feeling never changed. But there were days that I struggled with the relevance of that message, because while I believed it in my spirit, I always felt like there was something that needed to happen in order for me to officially be able to stand and say, "I've been called to be the pastor of this church".

You see whenever you go to youth camp, and whenever you sit in service, and whenever you're listening to testimonies, nobody gets up and shares the testimony that they were born into a Christian home, and they went to church every Sunday, and they learned to love the word, and they learned to worship the Lord, and they learned all of these wonderful things, and that's how they are who they are and what they did. When you hear testimonies, you hear stories like, "I used to eat out of dumpsters and do drugs, and I used to watch all of these bad things, and I used to be engaged in all of this illicit behavior: and then Jesus found me".

And when I was young, I would sit there and think, well God, when am I going to go to jail so that I can start to work for you? Because everybody who could fill an altar, they had a record. And all I ever did was sit in church and want to be a pastor. And so one day, struggling with this, I went to my father. I said, "Dad, am I called"? He said, "To do what"? It didn't feel good right off the bat. I said, "Am I called to be the pastor"? I said, "That's what I know God wants me to do". He said, "Why do you ask"? I said, "Because everywhere I turn, everywhere I look," I said, "Somebody's got a story". And I said, "And their stories are always how God redeemed them from some dark depth and then he restored them". And I said, "I don't think I'm ever going to get to do that". And he goes, "You're not". Case closed.

I said, "So then how can God use me"? He said, "Son," he said, "You were called like Jeremiah was called". He said, "I was called like the apostle Paul was called". He said, "My calling came when I was going my own way doing my own thing like Saul on his way to Tarsus when God knocked him off of his horse, and said, today is your day of decision. You either follow me or you stay blind". He said, "But son, your calling, it came like Jeremiah while you were yet in the womb: that God ordained you and he called you a prophet to the nations". He said, "Don't you ever doubt your calling: just have faith in God".

You see it was in these ways that I, too, learned what Paul said to Timothy from the man that God put over my life to believe that God is able to keep that which I have committed to him to the day of Christ Jesus. And in that, you learn that everyone must endure hardship. The thing that I love about watching pastor endure hardship is that it doesn't matter the hardship he endures: the level of excellence does not drop. Do you know the difference between a real professional and a very talented amateur? A real professional will never let you see how hard it is to do what they do: they make it look easy every time. And talented amateurs will always let you know how it was almost going to fall to pieces, but then they stepped in and saved it.

I've watched pastor endure hard days, but I never watched him bring those hard days to the pulpit. I've watched him struggle. I've watched him worry. I've watched him work. But I've never seen those things impact the way that he brought the Word of God to the people who needed to hear it. I watched him sit behind a desk whenever he was going through treatments, four and five in a week, when doctors said, "You should go home and sleep and not do anything else". And yet, he'd get to the desk and sit down and share the word. Why? Because you must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Not only did pastor teach me through his behavior how to endure: he taught me how to be diligent. 2 Timothy 2:15, we read the words that we should be diligent. "Present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth".

You need to know something: that in order to rightly divide the word of truth, it takes work. You don't get to get the Bible and just flip through a couple of pages, pull out a few things, throw a couple of illustrations on it, and call that good. That's not how churches like this get built. It requires work to rightly divide the Word of God. And pastor taught me that early on. I don't know if you've heard the story of when I shared my first sermon. But for those of you who have, you're going to enjoy it again. I'd just graduated high school, and I was 17. I was getting ready to attend oral Roberts university that August. And pastor let me know in may that he wanted me to preach at Cornerstone Church on Sunday night before I left.

Now strategically, he had picked the last Sunday night before I left town. I just thought it was timing. But for him, it was all by plan. If it was really good, I was going to be out of town, and I wouldn't be here to hear to high praises ring. If it was really bad, I would be out of town, and I wouldn't be here to hear anything that anybody else had to say. But the bad news about that date is that I graduated in may, and that date wasn't until the last Sunday night in July. So I had four weeks of June and three weeks in July to sit down and prepare what I was going to say on that last Sunday night at Cornerstone Church. Now you need to know that if I have got seven weeks to prepare a message that I've been waiting to preach all of my life, I'm going to share just about everything I know.

As a matter of fact, for weeks, I read books and found big words that I didn't even know what they meant. But they sounded smart, so I wrote them down. I watched Christian television, and I began to consider the behaviors and the mannerisms of certain preachers that I enjoyed. And I began to write their things down. And by the time we'd gotten into the month of July, about two weeks out, pastor told me: he said, "Son," he said, "This afternoon, I'd like to sit down and look over the notes that you've been writing for your sermon that you're going to be preaching in a couple of weeks".

I knew that the moment he touched that manuscript, the Holy Spirit was going to descend like a dove over his head: and that angels would be standing wing tip to wing tip in the room: and the shekinah was going to glow off of the pages as he read it: that he wouldn't even need to thumb through the pages: they'd just float from his hand over to the table, because the Magna Carta of ministry was now being placed in manuscript form into his hand. I was proud of what I had prepared. I can't remember any of it, but it was good. That afternoon, he came home from work, he said, "Have you got your notes"? I said, "Yes, sir". He said, "Bring them to me". He was sitting in his chair.

How many of you had dads that had their chair? He was sitting in his chair in his room with my manuscript. And he began to read it. And he didn't get much past the title and he said, "Son, go to my office and get my red pen". Did I miss a comma? I mean I'm, it's just a draft. Punctuation doesn't matter: it's just my notes. You want your red pen: I'll go get your red pen. I got that red pen, and I brought it to him, and he took that pen and pushed the button on the back, put it to his tongue, and he circled this. And he scratched that. He scribbled this, and wrote an arrow out here in the margin, and wrote some words. And then when he'd finish what he was doing, he'd just grab the page and do like that, and this manuscript, by the way, was 47 pages long.

Seven weeks is a long time to think. Page one, page two, page three, finally about page 14, he circled something. And instead of throwing that one across the room like a skeet through a shotgun shell, he just set it over on the table. Forty-seven pages later, 45 of those pages are all over the floor. And they look like a squirrel had been sacrificed on each of them. They had red from one corner to the other. The two pages that remained, there were only three sentences out of two pages that were circled and sitting to his right. He got done, and he said, "Now", and I know his tone. When he said, "Now," brace for impact. He said, "I want you to pick up all of those pages there". He said, "I need you to go back to your study and keep working". He said, "What's on those pages came out of you". He picked up the two pages to his right, and he said, "What's on these pages, at least what's circled, came out of the Bible".

And in the next sentence, he sent me to seminary. He said, "If you preach what the Bible says, men will come from all over the world to hear you". He says, "But if you preach what's in you, they won't cross the street to listen to you". I picked up my pages, and walked to my corner. Now this is a debate that goes on in our household for eternity. He claims I slammed the door. I hold fast to the position I closed it strongly. Because a slam is a sign of disrespect. But a strong close is a demonstration of strength. I don't know. That works for me. I took that mutilated manuscript and I threw it in the trash can. And I pulled out the chair I'd been sitting at for seven weeks, and I sat down, and I began to process the thoughts for my next round of debate.

I was ready to go back into that room and defend myself. How could he just so blatantly discard my genius? How could he not accept the brilliance of my own heartfelt expressions in accomplishing the mission and the purpose that God had given me? How could he hold me back when I was just getting started? I was ready! And then that still, small voice asked me one question. And if you hear this story and you take anything out of it, for me, it would be this: don't ignore the question. That still, small voice asked this question, "Is this where your ministry ends"? It hadn't even gotten started. I mean you officially have to preach before you can quit.

How could it be over with before we even get started? And while I processed that question, I began to sit there just for long enough that God would continue to unfold what that meant to me. And in my mind, I began to see the faces and hear the voices of pastors and leaders and preachers that I had met from all over the country in the years that I had traveled from place to place with pastor, men of God, men who had churches: men that you would know by name if I listed them, who would come to me and tell me, as I was a child, "If they could only sit for an hour, if I could only have an hour with your dad, if I could only talk to him about what I'm walking through, if I could only listen to him tell me what he knows about preaching: oh, it would be so good".

And as I began to hear their voices and I began to see their faces, I knew then that God in his sovereignty had put me in the home of the man who was to mentor me: and that if I was going to learn what God wanted me to learn, I had to be teachable. And so I learned in that moment, don't be offended by instruction, but allow instruction to build you into what God wants you to become. I took a pen and I took a blank pad. And I went in and sat down next to him, and apologized for strongly closing the door. Just in case he thought I slammed it and wanted to bring it up later. And I told him very clearly, I said, "I don't know how to preach but you do". I said, "If you'll tell me what you know, I'll take the energy that I have and use your wisdom as long as I live".

That's how the first sermon got written. I was privileged enough to sit and watch pastor show me what it meant to be diligent: that a workman need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of God and truth. Not only did pastor teach me to be diligent, but he also taught me what Timothy heard from Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16. There, we read, "All scripture". Say that with me. "All scripture". "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, and for reproof, for correction, for instruction, and for righteousness: that a man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work".

Church, I have to tell you: I am so thankful that I have been able to attend a church all of my life that has taught all scripture. I am thrilled that there isn't one part of this book that I do not find useful in some area or aspect of my life. We live in a world that has a cafeteria mindset about what the Bible says. They like to pick and choose as they go down the process of looking at what's in the book to decide what will and will not apply to their life. But the Word of God is very clear, "All scripture is profitable".

Why has pastor stood by Israel all of these years? Because all scripture is profitable. Why has he taken the stance that he's taken at times when other preachers won't speak up? Because all scripture is profitable. Why is it that God has blessed this church with the lives that he has? Why do we have such a diverse cultural standing here in this church? Why have we come from all nations? Why have we come from all generations? Why do we have the foundation that we do? Because we have been led by a man of God who believes that all scripture was good, and that it came from God, and that it can be used to change your life. If you're thankful that we live and have a church where all scripture is taught, would you give the Lord a handclap of praise?

The final thing that pastor taught me and that I'll share with you tonight, just a few of my reflections, comes from the 4th chapter of 2 Timothy. 2 Timothy 4:1, "I charge you, therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom will judge the living and the dead at his appearing, preach the word". Say that with me. "Preach the word". "Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. But according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers. And they will turn their ears away from truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things. Endure afflictions. Do the work. Fulfill your ministry".

I can tell you with every fiber of my being, I have been taught to preach the word, not preach culture, but preach Christ to the culture: not preach politics, but preach the principles of truth to those who are trying through the ways of men to lead politically: not teach popular opinion, but to teach what God's word has to say about who we are, and to allow God and his mighty right hand to move mountains of impossibility: not to teach prosperity, but to teach the cross of Jesus Christ where he went, and for our sakes, became poor: that we might be blessed with his blessings: not to teach what makes people feel good, but to teach the fact that in his presence is the fullness of joy, and in his presence are there pleasures ever more.

Tonight I thank God for a man of God that allowed me to become the man I am, so that when God Almighty calls us home, we walk through the door with our head held high. We listen as the angels welcome those who have achieved what God sent us here to do, and we celebrate for eternity that the Lord is good and his mercy endures forever. Would you give the Lord a handclap of praise.

Pastor, would you come to the platform as we close this service tonight? Every week, you graciously extend your hands and you bless us. Tonight I think it would be fitting if we extended our hands and we blessed you. Would you stand?

Father, thank you that in your sovereignty, in your perfect knowledge and judgement, in your truth, and in your justice, you gave us John Hagee. Thank you that you engrained in him the courage, the boldness, the willingness to hear your voice and to declare your truth. When others were silent, he spoke up. When others sat down, he stood up. When others did nothing, he moved forward. Thank you that we have a man of God that we can follow the example that he has set. And our children and our grandchildren will be able to say that this is what the Lord would have us to do. Now Lord, I pray that you would bless him. Bless him with strength. Bless him with work and wisdom yet to be done. Bless him with hands that have touched all things and prospered. Bless him with a voice of confidence that what he declares, the nations of the world would hear and know that this is from God's word, and it's heaven's will. Keep him. Make your face to shine upon him. Be gracious unto him and give him peace, peace to know that what he has established by God's grace, he has placed on a generation who will follow in his footsteps and carry on this mantle of gospel ministry until Jesus comes. We thank you, Lord: for you have indeed done great things. And we bless and honor this man of God as a church body tonight, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Now you often tell us how when we get to heaven, there's going to be a cornerstone celebration: and that that cornerstone celebration is going to include generations of our congregation. And there are some very necessary elements in order for that to be a full-fledged cornerstone celebration. One is food: the other is fun. And you constantly mention mariachis. So in honor of your 60th, the life center has arranged the food, the fun, and here's the mariachis.
Are you Human?:*