Matt Hagee - A Savior Worth Having
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We live in a world that has placed a premium on options. We like having choices. As a matter of fact, we've convinced ourselves that the more options and the more choices that we're given, the better we're able to make a decision about what's going to be best for us. Our culture is consumed by the desire to seek out our preference and to have it our way. As a matter of fact, we are so addicted to options and choices: we have people who get offended when other options aren't available. Go to a store. Watch somebody walk up to the counter with a red shirt, and say, "Does this come in white"? No, it's red. Uh! Go to lunch. Just eves drop on somebody ordering at the table next to you. The menu will say, "Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy".
How many of you hear options there? Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Just listen. "Um, I've got a significant amount of food allergies and dietary sensitivities, so I would like the chicken fried steak, but could you oven bake that in panko crumbs, because I do not like flour? I have some issues with wheat. And uh, by the way, with the potatoes, instead of the mashed white potatoes, could I get organic red roasted potatoes, because I'm avoiding all GMO's? I've heard they're terrible for you. And is the gravy gluten free"?
Where on the menu did they see any of those options available? And then they'll say something real clever at the end. "And oh, could you bring some ranch on the side"? You know there are all kinds of places, and all kinds of items, and all kinds of things that indeed in this luxurious world that we live in, you do get choices. You do have options. You can get it any way you want it. But we've become so bent towards our preference that we're now deciding to take options and make choices in places where we really have no option and we don't get a choice. We're telling kids in our society that they can choose: they've got an option on gender. No, you don't! You're created male or you're created female. There is no option.
When it comes to salvation, there is no option. There is only one choice, and his name is Jesus Christ. The reason that I say this is because the pew research company released a poll in which they looked at thousands of Americans. And they asked them this question: is there more than one way to heaven? Eighty percent of Americans said, "Yes". Forty percent of those eighty percent said they were church-going Christians. Eight out of ten, under the age of 25, said that there were multiple religions with multiple ways to get to eternal life, and that there is no Satan, and there is no hell.
This is a problem. Church, I came to tell you this morning that God is not sitting on his throne reading poll research and making adjustments to our preferences down here on earth. I came to tell you this morning that there is only one name given among men whereby we might be saved, and that name is the matchless name of Jesus Christ. If you found Acts 4:12, say, amen. Let's read it together, "Nor is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved".
Heavenly Father, today we have come to your house and we are here to declare your truth. Now let the hearts and the lives in this room, let that truth set them free. Let those who are watching and those who will hear this message in days to come meet a Savior who is Christ the Lord. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
You may be seated. Today I want you to know that our Savior is a Savior worth having. And when it comes to something that's worth having, people want to know, what is it worth. They want to know its value and how can determine it. And there are times when people determine value based on rarity. How available is it? How many of them are there? How easily can it be duplicated? For example, if you went to Paris and you were to go to the Louvre Museum, and you went into the gift shop, you could buy a poster that's been reprinted of the Mona Lisa for just a few dollars because there's hundreds of thousands of posters of the Mona Lisa. But if you went to the curator of the museum, and said, "Excuse me: I'd like a price on 'the' Mona Lisa," they'd probably just laugh you out of the museum. Why? Because in one case, there are many. And the more volume, the less value. And in the other case, there is only one.
Well when it comes to a Savior, Peter makes it very clear this morning in our text, Acts 4. He says there is salvation in no other. There is only one. And this just isn't the opinion that Peter came to all by himself. Peter was a disciple of Jesus Christ. Peter spent three years listening to the teachings of the Savior. And he heard Jesus say, "I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. No man comes to the father but by me". Jesus didn't create this claim and this argument on his own. God actually said it in Isaiah 43:11. He said, "I am the Lord, and beside me, there is no other Savior".
In Hosea 13:4, he repeats it. He says, "For there is no Savior besides me". This simply means that the Savior we have is one of a kind. He cannot be duplicated. He cannot be replaced. He cannot be substituted. There is no alternative. And this is wonderful news, because often times when you give people choice, there's a chance that they could choose the wrong option. But the good news is, is because there is no alternative when it comes to salvation, for each and every person that needs deliverance from sin, there is one who can save.
For each and every person who needs pain of their past erased, there is one who can go into your yesterday's and take them away. For each and every person who needs the weight of guilt lifted off of their shoulders, the chains of bondage broken off of their life, to be set free today, there is only one who sets free, and whom the son sets free is free indeed! His name is Jesus and he is the lamb for sinner's slain! He is the Cornerstone precious and elect! He is the one who died our death so we wouldn't have to! He is the one who conquered the grave, so now it's the gateway to glory! He is the one who is risen and who has been seated at the right hand of God the Father! And he has been given the name that is above every name! So at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess to the glory of God the Father! Give him a handclap of praise in this house today!
Some people come to a basis of value based on how rare it is. Other people determine their value based on what it can do. We don't like having something that can only do one thing: we want something that has a multitude of functions. We want a great amount of capability and applications. The more something can do, the more valuable we feel it is, because it has a greater impact on our life. Just think for example about how people feel about smart phones. I think the smarter phones get, the dumber we get. How many of you used to remember about 1500 phone numbers? What's your mom's number? Da, da, da, da, da, dah. What's your kid's number? Da, da, da, da, dah.
Now you don't even remember your number. And I mean it: the smarter the phones get, the dumber we get. The definition of "Dumb" is not to speak. And the smarter those phones get, the less we talk to each other. But we value these phones because they've got more than one function. They're not just a phone. They've got applications for everything, all kinds of things you wish they didn't have applications for. So if you're the kind of person who determines value based on application of what something can do, let me tell you about a Savior worth having. Because Ephesians 3:20 tells us very clearly, "To him who is able", say that with me, "To him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly, above all that we could ask or think".
Not only can he do all that you ask: he does exceedingly and abundantly above what you ask. Some people measure value because it's one of a kind. Others measure value because it can do a multitude of things. And still there are some who will measure value based on reliability. How many of you know people who have ever traded quality for consistency? How many of you've ever gone to eat at a place that was less than awesome because you knew what you could expect? It's reliable. I know it ain't great but it's good enough. You have five kids, good enough: get her done. I want you to listen to what the Bible has to say about the reliability of our Savior. Zephaniah 3:5 says it as plainly as it can be stated. It says in Zephaniah 3:5, "He never fails". Say that with me. "He never fails". Say it like you believe it. "He never fails".
God is so reliable that many of us have become bored with him. You see human beings have this terrible problem of becoming easily distracted and bored very quick. The more opportunity that we have to experience something, the less amazing it is. Think about it. The first time you see something, you go, "Ah, that is a-maze-ing". It's so good: "Amazing" becomes three words. The tenth time you see it, you go, "Yeah, it was good". The hundredth time you see it, you go, "Uh, that again"? We've become so short in our attention span and so easily distracted that the things that used to captivate us, we're bored with. And in many cases, we've done this same thing with God.
Consider the rising of the sun. I'll bet you that there's a lot of folks that when the sun comes up, they don't take a moment to consider it to be supernaturally breathtaking. Oh, here it comes again. They don't consider that the sun didn't choose when it was going to come up: God commanded it to come up. We often ignore it, but God looks at it, and says, "It is good". If you don't think sunrise is miraculous, then tomorrow morning, you do it on your own and let's see how good you do. You see here's the amazing thing about God: he's the same yesterday, today and forever. If you believe that, say, amen. So if he's the same yesterday, today and forever, then that means it doesn't matter how many times he sees the sun come up.
Over the centuries, over the millennia, over all of this time that he's sat on his throne and he's watched the sun come up: he doesn't look at it and go, "Oh, it's you again". He sees it come up and he says the same thing about the sun tomorrow morning that he said in Genesis 1:18. The Bible says that he saw the sun that he had created and he said, "It is good". Tomorrow God will still be awestruck at the sun that he created and he told when to shine. How will you be? The good news is, is not only does God not get tired of the sunshine. The good news is, is that God doesn't get tired of you. He loves you. He loved you while you were a sinner. He loves you so much that he sent his only begotten son to die for you. He gives you all things like your heartbeat, and the breath that you breathe, and the life that you live.
This is why David said, "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord". I believe that we have to, as a body, refuse to lose the joy of our salvation. When is the last time that you just decided you were absolutely thrilled that you were saved? For those who profess faith in Christ, for those who have asked him into their heart, for those who have received him as Savior, you need to take some time and just thank God that you've received this gift of salvation. When's the last time that you sat down and you thought, if it had not been for the Lord who was on my side and just celebrated everything that God has done?
When is the last time you just considered the things in your life and took a deep breath, and said, "Father, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for my life. Thank you for my family. Thank you for the strength in my physical body. Thank you for the job that you've given me. Thank you for the roof that's over my head. Thank you for being faithful to meet me in the sanctuary. Thank you for listening to me when I pray. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins. Thank you for adopting me into your family, for calling me your son, for making me your daughter. Thank you for erasing my past and setting me free. Thank you for making me a new creature in Christ Jesus. Thank you, Lord, that you've never let me go! I will rejoice in the joy of my salvation"!
Oh, magnify the Lord with me! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Today I've shared with you how truly priceless this Savior is. He's so rare: there's never been another. He's so capable that there's nothing that's impossible. He's so reliable that from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, his name is worthy to be praised. And if you have not received him, he's so good that all you have to do is believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Savior, and he'll be yours today. You may think that a Savior like this would be impossible for someone to receive. But the Bible tells us in John 3, "Whosoever will believe in him". "Whosoever will" means it doesn't matter what you've done, it doesn't matter where you've been, it doesn't matter what you've gone through, it doesn't matter what others say about you: as long as you want him, you can have him. But you've got to believe in your heart, and you've got to confess with your mouth.
And I want to give you the opportunity to do that today. I want you to go home today and tell somebody, "I received a Savior worth having". And so with every head bowed and every eye closed, you're in this place, and you say, pastor, I need that Savior. I need him to redeem me. I need him to cleanse me from my sins. I need him to set me free. Right where you are, I want you to raise your hand high and hold it before the Lord. What we're going to do next is going to cause all of heaven to celebrate and rejoice. We're going sing a song celebrating our salvation.
Those of you who have received him, you're going to rejoice in the joy of your salvation. Those of you who are going to receive him, if you raised your hand to receive Christ today, when we start singing, I want you to start walking this way, because I want to meet you. I want to pray the prayer with you. And then I want to tell you what a joy it is to receive this Savior. So as we sing, if you want to receive Jesus Christ, I want you to begin walking this way and meeting me here at this altar. Church, sing these words with me. If you're thankful for that today, just lift your hands and worship him in this place. When everybody else gave up on you, when nobody saw any good in you, he reached down his hand, and he said, "I'll take that one".
I am so honored to see each and every one of you at this altar. You came because the Holy Spirit reached into your heart and he just pulled on you. He let you know that he came today just to meet you, to touch your life, to change you forever. And the Bible says that whenever one individual on this earth professes Jesus Christ, all of the angels in heaven rejoice. The angels in heaven cannot be numbered. The Bible says that the hosts of heaven are without number, which means that when every one of you pray the prayer that we're about to pray, a multitude of heavenly beings are going to shout to God, because you've made a decision to receive this Savior that's worth having. You might think there's a room full of people that are watching you. I assure you this room full of people doesn't even compare with what's happening in heaven. Let's pray together. Repeat these words after me.
Lord Jesus Christ, today I receive you as my Savior. Today I thank you for the gift of my salvation. I am asking you to set me free from the sin in my life, and make me your child. Lord, I believe that your son is the only way to receive this precious gift. And today, in Jesus' name, by his shed blood, based on your word, I am saved. I am set free. I am born again. And I will rejoice in the joy of my salvation. Amen.