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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - It's a Matter of Life and Death

Matt Hagee - It's a Matter of Life and Death

Matt Hagee - It's a Matter of Life and Death
Matt Hagee - It's a Matter of Life and Death

If you brought your Bibles, turn them to the book of 2 Kings 5:1, as this morning we talk for a few minutes about something that is a problem for each and every one of us. As a matter of fact, whether you know it or not, you've got a condition. The thing about this condition is we often dismiss it. We consider it for a little while and then ignore it. But when you really get down to the root of the issue, it is not a condition: it's a matter of life and death. And this condition is called sin. And it's a problem that each and every one of us were born with and will live with as long as we wear our flesh. But it's not anything just to pass by and pretend doesn't exist or doesn't have an affect on you, because sin is something that has been causing great strife ever since the world began.

It cannot be excused with an apology. It's a sickness that no vaccine will eradicate. It creates bondages and chains that cannot be broken: that no amount of money will ever buy a pardon from. Sin is a cancer that has caused businesses to go bankrupt. Sin is a condition that will numb your senses and deaden your soul until you have no conscience and you feel nothing when you do wrong. Sin is a pandemic, because it has covered every nation around the globe. And there is no natural cure for it. Sin fills a heart with fear. Sin will leave your cheeks wet with tears. Sin is what sends sons off to war. Sin is what makes wives widows. Sin is who fills our morgues and our mortuaries. Sin is where you see courtrooms backed up with a backlog of those who have offended. And when you really understand the depth of it, you recognize that sin is a matter of life and death.

This morning, we turn to 2 Kings 5, and in one verse, we find out a lot about an individual, who in his popularity, his power, and fame, could do nothing to solve his problem, because his problem was a matter of life and death. If you found 2 Kings 5:1, say, amen. Read with me, "Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master. Because by him, the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but", everybody say, "But... a leper". It really didn't matter what the king thought of Naaman. It really didn't matter how much his men respected him. It really didn't matter how much the rest of the world feared him, because he was a leper. And that is a matter of life and death. Let's pray.

Heavenly Father, let your Holy Spirit use this eternal word of truth to break the hardest of hearts in this place today. Let your hand be upon every life that has submitted itself to you. And let your arms wrap around those who have not, and pull them ever closer to your cross. It's in your name that we pray and ask these things. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.

You may be seated. Sometimes you can read a story in the Bible, and it just becomes something that you catalog and consider for another time. And then there's other times when you open up the pages of the Bible, and suddenly you see things you've never seen before. Today it is my intent to help you, in the 14 verses of 2 Kings 5, see things that you might not have considered before and recognize how well they apply to every life in this room. When we meet Naaman in verse 1, it begins by discussing all of the things that Naaman did well. Naaman was a great leader. Naaman had gotten a victory for his king. He lived in Syria, and Syria was a part of Assyria. So when Syria decided that it didn't want to be a part of Assyria, it went to war with Assyria. Assyria was a much larger nation, and Syria didn't have much of a chance. But Naaman led them to victory.

Naaman, if you would, was the George Washington of his nation. If you're looking for a modern analogy, Naaman is that super hero, who all he has is a pocket knife and he takes out a whole army. He is something to behold. You mention his name, and if you're Assyrian, you celebrate. If you are anyone else, you tremble. But for all that Naaman was, and for all that Naaman had done, and for everything that he could do, it didn't matter, because Naaman was a leper. Naaman goes and tells the king. And the king says, "Shhh. Don't let anybody find out". Naaman goes home and he tells his wife. He's got to let her know. And immediately she starts worrying. She starts crying. She goes into hysterics. "What about the kids? What about... What about our home? What about our lives? When you die, what happens to me"?

And in the midst of all of this chaos that leprosy has caused all of a sudden, one voice of hope walks into the equation, an unlikely source, who was brought to Naaman's home whenever a group of his soldiers went on a raid in Israel. They kidnapped a young girl, and they brought her back from Israel. And they gave her as a gift to the house of Naaman. And Naaman gave her as a maid to his wife. She took care of her things. She cleaned up after the kids. She tucked them in. She put them to bed. She worked in the house. She was a slave. And on a day like today, the last voice that you're going to listen to is the voice of a slave kidnapped from another nation. But into this chaos comes one voice of hope.

And if there's anything that you remember today, remember this: don't underestimate the power of hope. Sometimes you look at a situation, and you say, "It's hopeless"! Well it'll always stay that way until you change your mind that something can and should be done. This young lady had many excuses not to say anything. I mean she's a foreigner. She's a captive. She could probably be full of resentment. Why on earth would she want this guy to live when he's the reason she's not in her home? And yet, into the midst of the situation, she walks in, and says to her mistress, "If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria: for he would heal him of his leprosy".

And then she turns and walks out. And for the first time in the midst of this chaos, for the first time in months, for the first time in hours, somebody in the room has said something that provides just a little bit of hope. If all you ever do for God is be a voice that provides a little bit of hope, you can change the world. Don't ever give up on the idea that as long as you're breathing, there is hope, because the God that you serve is still and always will be in total control. So Naaman, he hears about the prophet, and he races back to the king. And he tells his king: he says, listen. He says, there's a girl in my house. She says that there's a prophet over in Israel, and we should go see him. The king thinks this is brilliant. Here's the strategy.

Now I can ship this problem out of my nation. So he looks at Naaman, who's his general, and he says, I'm going to give you a letter and I want you to carry that letter to the king in Israel. And when you carry it to the king in Israel, I want him to read it so he understands exactly what it says. Now go. You see, it's a brilliant, diplomatic strategy, because if Naaman goes to Israel and he's healed, Assyria gets its general back. If Naaman goes to Israel and he dies, Israel now has an enemy. Perfect. The king still doesn't care if Naaman is healed. He just wants to problem solved. So Naaman jumps in his chariot and he races down the road. He's got soldiers riding in front of him. He's got soldiers riding behind him. No doubt, when he crossed the Jordan river into the northern part of Israel, all of Israel began to talk about it.

Naaman's here. Naaman's here. He's coming with riders. He's on his way to Jerusalem. He gets to the kingdom. He pulls up in front of the castle. He pulls his chariot to a stop. He jumps out, and he says, I'm Naaman, the general of Syria, and I'm here to see the king. They knock on the king's door, and they say, uh, general Naaman is here. No question that the king of Israel thought, well that can't be good. Have you ever heard the name of one of your guests announced, and you immediately know that can't be good? The king of Syria says, "Now be advised, I (meaning I did this on purpose) have sent you this letter: that you may heal Naaman of his leprosy". I have purposely asked you to do the impossible. And the king throws a fit.

The Bible says he tears his clothes, and he screams, and he yells. He says, "Am I God that I can heal him or that I can raise the dead"? He knows that leprosy is a death sentence. He knows there is no cure for leprosy. He recognizes that what the king of Syria is trying to do is start a war with Israel when Naaman dies over here. And on and on it goes until word begins to spread from there. And it finally reaches Elisha's house. Elisha says, what's going on in town? They said, well Naaman's in town, and apparently he's got leprosy, and the king is upset about it. And so Elisha walks into his house, and he turns on his 60-inch flat screen television. He's checking out the news feed and it shows the king. And Elisha sends a letter to the king. He says, "Send Naaman to me: that he (Naaman) may know that there is a God in Israel".

So Naaman hears that Elisha's ready to see him. And he takes off in his chariot. And Naaman thinks, we're so close. Hopefully this works. Naaman cannot understand why he, the great general, is now in front of the meager house of the prophet, and the prophet is not ready to receive him. And sometimes the thing that keeps us from having our problem solved is our own pride. You see Naaman's not thinking like a leper looking for an answer. He's thinking like a general looking for a salute. And Elisha doesn't even go out the door. He doesn't even look out the window. He looks at his servant, Gehazi, and he says, hey, get out there. He says, if there's a guy in a chariot, his name's Naaman. He says, "Him to go dip in the river seven times and he'll be clean". And he just goes right back to work.

So Gehazi goes out front, and he goes, you Naaman? I'm Naaman. He says, well Elisha's busy today. But he did send a message. What? I'm Naaman. Yeah, we got it. Chariot, soldier, you're good. What did Elisha say? He said, "If you'll go dip in the river seven times, you'll be clean. See ya". And Naaman goes from mad to livid. He throws a fit. He starts walking down the road. He says, what? The Jordan? It's a muddy creek. It's not even a river. I mean I come from the place where there's the Tigres and the Euphrates. And if this water thing would have worked, I could have done it back home instead of come all the way over here. You want me to wash in that? Naaman can't stand it. How dare they offend me like this. Don't they know who I am? How dare they think that they can treat me like this. Don't even come out to see me. How dare they tell me that all I have to do is go dip in that pool seven times, and as soon as I do, it'll be all good.

All this leprosy is going to go away just because that muddy water's going to work. And you say, "Well, what's the big deal"? I don't know. I do know this though: each and every Sunday that people come to church, they have leprosy in their soul called sin. And we talk about a Jesus, who can set them free. And every Sunday, people choose to walk out with leprosy rather than just come to the altar, say one prayer, and be free. Naaman is done. And it's not Naaman that changes his own mind: it's one of his servants, one of his soldiers, one of his men. And he races down the road and he chases Naaman down, and he says, Naaman, let's just think about it, man. If he would have asked you to do something great, if he would have asked you to give five million dollars to research, you'd have done it. But all he wants you to do is just get down in that hole and go up and down seven times. And he said it would work.

Now what did we come this far for, Naaman? Just so you could get this close, throw a fit, and go home? And Naaman looks at him and says, what's your problem, man? And his soldier says, "You. I'm tired of your leprosy. I'm tired of hiding it. I'm tired of dealing with it. I'm tired of cleaning up. I'm tired of helping you get out of bed. All of this drama that's been going on since you got leprosy, I'm done, Naaman. And if that hole over there with the water in it is going to get you clean, let's go".

You know sometimes we like to think that our sin problem is not a real problem. If you ever want to know what kind of problem it is, go talk to the people who have to put up with it. Oh, I don't have a drinking problem. Yeah? Talk to your family about what happens when you drink. I don't have a temper problem. Talk to those that you've wounded with your words whenever you were lashing out in your temper. I don't have a lying problem. Talk to the people who want to trust you but they can't, because you just don't tell them the truth. I assure you, if you don't think you have a sin problem, talk to those who it impacts the most, and you'll recognize that at some point in time, they will be done with you.

Naaman walks over to the bank of the Jordan, and he looks down. And he looks up at the house, and Gehazi is standing on the front porch. He goes, and Naaman thinks to himself. He says, I can't believe I'm in this situation. I mean now look. There's all these people watching, people left and right. And everybody knows I've got leprosy. Everybody knows this is a problem. I mean they're sitting there taking pictures. They're going to put it up on Snapchat and Facebook and Instagram. And down, down, down I go. And man this water's cold. I can't believe I let my wife talk me into this. The last time I try alternative therapy. Still got it. Say something. You know what? If this don't work, I'm going to call that attorney on the commercials, and we're going to sue. We are going to sue. He said he'd fight for me. Still got it.

All right. You know I wonder sometime: how are my kids going to make it without me, because I know when this is over, they're going to go through a lot without me being around. Still got it! Four. I wonder who my daughter's going to marry. I wonder what my son's going to become. I wonder what's going to happen to the king. I mean who's going to go fight all his fights? There comes a time in your life when you start measuring sin from a different perspective, because sooner or later, you realize that the world doesn't evolve around you. But it's better with you in it. While Naaman starts thinking this way, Gehazi goes, three. Still there! Two. Hadn't even gotten lighter yet.

As a matter of fact, I think it's growing. And I don't think this is going to work. I'm out. I'm done. You see if Naaman would have gone down six times and come up six times, he would have died, because partial obedience is disobedience. And there are some of you in this place, who are dealing with a sin problem, a-leprosy-in-your-soul problem. And you're telling yourself, well I agree with what the preacher said. I agree. I agree. I agree. I agree. And in just a minute, I'm going to ask you to agree for one more thing. I'm going to ask you to agree that one simple prayer is all that it takes for that sin problem to be eradicated and Jesus to be your Savior.

And if you agree with six things that I've said today, but you disagree on seven, you're going to die a sinner with leprosy in your soul, separated from a God who died to set you free. Naaman's looking at his skin. And he says, I've been all this way. I've done all this stuff. Nothing's changed! He yells up at Elisha's house, "Nothing's changed"! Gehazi yells back, "You're only at six". Lord, if you're up there, I really don't want to die this way. I want this to go away. I want to pretend like it never happened.

For all of the courage Naaman had to fight battles and wars, and face men in death, I don't even know if he had the courage to look. He just kind of ran his hand down his arm. And hey, hey, hey, it used to be right there. It's not there anymore. And it was over here too, and that spot's gone. And then it was right over here and that's gone, and I'm clean. I'm clean. I'm clean. I'm not a leper anymore. I'm not dying anymore. I'm not worried anymore. I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! Thank God: I'm free! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!

Stand to your feet. Stand to your feet. And now with every head bowed and every eye closed, you're in this place today, and you say, "Pastor, just like Naaman had a leprosy problem, I've got a sin problem. You can talk about the symptoms but the problem is it's just plain old sin. And I know if I don't cure it at the root, it'll kill me". If that describes you today, and you're willing, I want you to raise your hand right where you are. I want everyone in this room to repeat this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you that in faith believing, I can receive a healing touch today. Today I'm asking you, Lord, to heal the sickness of my soul, which is the sin that lives in me. Cleanse it with your blood: that I may be clean. Wash me white as snow: that I can leave here in purity. And when I leave this place, let me celebrate the fact that I have been given life today where there was death. And let me take this message of hope and spread the love and the life of Jesus Christ with those who are still walking in the chains of death. Thank you, Lord, for what you've done for me through your only begotten son, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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