Matt Hagee - Rock Solid Answer
If you brought your Bibles, turn them to the Book of Acts 4, beginning at the 11th verse, as this morning we continue in the sermon series "answers, arguments and angry men" with this message, "a rock-solid answer". Today, we consider the rock-solid answer that God Almighty has given us and why we need to declare it in this generation more than ever. Acts 4:11 and 12, if you're there, say, amen. Read with me: "this is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief Cornerstone'. 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 in this sanctuary, we have magnified the mighty name of Jesus. We feel your Holy Spirit's presence in this place. Now I ask that he would anoint this word, open our hearts to receive its truth, anoint our hands to accomplish its task, and give us the strength to endure as soldiers of the cross of Christ. In Jesus' name, we pray and ask. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. Peter, in Acts 4, is offering an answer for what he was able to accomplish in the life of a lame man. Acts 3 is where you can read the story. And many of you have heard it for many years. Peter and John are walking into the temple at the hour of prayer. They see a lame man. He wants alms. Instead of alms, they give him the power of the name of Jesus. Peter says, "silver and gold I do not have. What I do, I give it to you: in the name of Jesus". Don't ever forget this: one of the most powerful things that you can do as a human being is utter the matchless name of Jesus Christ. He said, "in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk". And the second that this lame man got up, he went and did what he could never do before, which was go into the temple. And when he got into the temple, the people who walked by him for years and ignored him, now wanted to know: how did you do this?
And isn't it just like people that when God starts doing something, they start arguing about it? He said, "it was the guy who said, 'in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk'. He's the one who healed me". So they went and found Peter and John, and they asked Peter and John, "how did this happen? Answer the question". And Peter gives them a rock-sold answer. And the rock-sold answer is simply this: this "stone that you have rejected has been made the chief Cornerstone," and "there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved other than the name of Jesus Christ". He came to this earth and rose again, so that we could declare to a lost and dying world that he lives. He lives. And because he lives, they can be saved. The world that we live in right now needs Jesus Christ more than ever. But instead of doing what he created us to do, declaring his truth, we've allowed a vacuum to be created in our culture. And what you need to understand is that anytime there's a vacuum, the only response is violence.
Now the definition of "violence" is disrupt, disturb and move suddenly. Many people have it in so many different contexts, but when you look it up in the dictionary, it says that anything that disrupts, disturbs, and moves suddenly is violent. Have you ever had a violent cough? It disrupts your sleep. It disturbs your day. It comes upon you suddenly. It doesn't mean that it's a cough with a ninja black belt. But it's disruptive. And we're looking at a world, and we're wondering: what on earth is going on? What's going on in our government? What's going on in our schools? What's going on in our streets? What's going on in our homes? It's violent. It's disruptive. It's concerning. It is something that we do not like.
But the reason that it exists is because there's a vacuum. And what we don't want to admit is that the vacuum is not in the government, the vacuum is not in the school, the vacuum is not in the home, the vacuum is in the church. We are not doing what we were created to do. And when you see a vacuum, you have to realize that there's going to be violence. Look at our cities. Why are there mobs looting stores and posting it on social media like they're proud of it? Look what we did, broke glass and stole stuff. We got told we'd get whipped if we did that. But why is there violence in our cities? Because we have these city bureaucrats who believe that a social justice director will make everybody behave. They've decided to defund the police. They've created a vacuum where they've removed authority, and now violence has moved in.
Look at our schools. What's happening in our schools? We've removed the teaching and the principles of the Ten Commandments from our schools, and now violence has moved in. What's going on in the home? We've removed the authority of the father from the home, and now, in that vacuum, violence has moved in. Seventy percent of the kids in the United States do not live with their birth father. That is a fatherless generation. And a fatherless generation is an angry generation, because they did not get trained to be the men that they were created to be. And understand this: "fatherlessness" doesn't mean always that dad has a different address. Sometimes "fatherlessness" means dad's home: he's just not doing his job.
So where does this vacuum begin? This vacuum does not begin in the government. It does not begin with the school board. It does not begin with the city. It starts right here. Because when the church is strong, the culture is strong. Read what Paul said to Timothy. He said, "the church is the pillar and the ground of truth". And whenever the pillar and the ground of truth are established, then the culture around the church is able to understand where it's anchored and what it's built upon. When you see foundational issues, you have to look at what's going on in the church, because there, you'll figure out whether or not we're doing what we're supposed to. And at this point, you can say "no". Why? Because we've forgotten our Cornerstone. Peter said it very clearly, "he is the chief Cornerstone".
In every building, there is a Cornerstone. And any part of that building that is not in alignment with the Cornerstone is not functional. They're not able to lean on the Cornerstone and allow the weight that they're supposed to support to be carried together. When you build your life on Jesus Christ, you are leaning on a source that has the strength to carry you. When you're out of alignment with Jesus Christ, all it takes is just a little bit of shift in the weight, and you destabilize and come down. The modern church is more concerned about his letterhead than it is the letters in the New Testament. We're out of alignment with the Cornerstone. And it's time for us to remember who we are and why we were created. It's time for us to stop arguing about our preferences inside the house of God, and start declaring our purpose into the culture that needs to hear the truth of God.
Let's talk about this argument for a moment of preference versus purpose. One of the reasons that the church is deluded in the culture is because we spend more time fighting each other than we do darkness. And most of the time, what we're fighting about is our preference, not our purpose. Well, why do you go to that church? Well, I just like the way they do it. Well, how do they do it? Well, you know, I mean, we get to do it this way and that way. And most of the time, you're talking about all of the superfluous stuff on the outside. There isn't anything about church that Jesus came to establish that has to do with the outside.
Here's what he said to his disciples, Matthew 16, he's talking with all of his disciples, and he asks them, "who do you say that I am"? And Peter answers the question by declaring this simple profession. He says, "thou art the Christ, the son of the living God". And Jesus tells him, "flesh and blood didn't tell you this, but you heard it from my father in heaven". And then he makes this profession: "upon this rock", say that with me, "upon this rock". What rock? Not Peter.
There are people who say, "well, he meant Peter". No, no, no, no, no. He meant the profession. The profession, "thou art the Christ, the son of the living God". That's the rock. He said, "upon this rock, I (Jesus) will build my (his) church". And then he didn't go on to say, "and they'll do this much worship, and they'll do this much dancing, and they'll do this much clapping, and they'll have this in the lobby, and they'll have this in the parking lot". He didn't get into any of that. Why? Because that has to do with your preference, not your purpose. But he does go on to tell us his purpose. He says, "upon this rock I'll build my church". Here's your purpose, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against you".
When you allow your preference to create division, you've made space for the devil, because the devil loves division. He don't care what you're divided about, just divide. This is why Paul instructed the New Testament church, "give no place to the devil". Because the second he sees an inch, he's going to do all he can to get in. And division is one of his main addresses. Why? Because Psalm 133 says very clearly, "behold, how blessed and good it is for brethren to dwell together in unity". For who to dwell together? Brethren. "Brethren" are people who share common blood from their father.
If you have been redeemed by Jesus Christ, sent to earth by God, my father in heaven, you are my brother. When we walk together in unity, God commands a blessing on us, not just me and not just you, on both of us. And that blessing is life forever more. When generations walk together, God commands a blessing. When marriages walk together, God commands a blessing. When churches walk together, God commands a blessing. So what does the devil do, knowing that God commands a blessing on unity? He tries to create division and chaos. The thing about this war between the generations is it's one of the things that's causing the church, in this hour of history, to forfeit its place. We've allowed preference to overcome our purpose.
Now you need to understand that this is not unique in our generation. This has existed since the beginning of time. Look at Moses, the book of Deuteronomy. Over and over, he echoes these words, "you shall remember". He's telling the children and the grandchildren of those who were slaves in Egypt, don't forget what God did. "You shall remember the Lord your God, how he led you through the wilderness". "You shall remember the Lord your God that he gives you the power to get wealth". "You shall remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt until the Lord redeemed you". "You shall remember the days of old". "You shall remember the years of the generations". "You shall ask your father, and he will show you". "You shall ask your elders, and he will tell you".
Moses was telling the next generation, don't forget who God is and what God has done. Joshua faced it in his generation. When he was in his latter years, he called the leaders of Israel's tribes together. And he told them, in Joshua 24, "choose you this day whom you will serve". Say that with me. "Choose you this day whom you will serve". He said, you can choose for yourself. You choose the Gods on the other side of river. We tried that. It failed. You choose the Gods of the Amorites. They tried that. It failed. Joshua said, I get to make my choice, and, "as for me and as for my house, we are going to serve the Lord". It was a battle in the days of David. David didn't face it as an old man. David faced it as a teenager.
When it comes to this war with generations, you need to realize that just because it's younger doesn't mean it's wrong, and just because it's older doesn't mean it's out of touch. David's a teenager. He walks to the battle, and he sees Goliath calling Israel into fight. He hears the terms, "if you beat me, we'll serve you. If I beat you, you serve us". David knew that they were at a day of decision, and the decision was going to determine their destiny. He knew if they didn't take on the giant, they would forfeit their futures. And this is why David says in 1 Samuel 17:29: he says, "is there not a cause"? Is there not a reason for us to stand up and be counted? Is there not a time for us to allow God to prove himself faithful? Is there not something worth fighting for?
Just like Moses in his generation, we must remember in this generation. We must remember who we were before we met Jesus Christ. We must remember how lost and hopeless, how broken we were, how bound in the chains of sin and addiction before Jesus came and set us free. We must remember how faithful he's been to provide, how faithful he's been to protect, how faithful he's been to pour out his mercy and his grace, how faithful he's been to make a way where there seemed to be no way. Remember this: it is our privilege to be called his sons and daughters. It is our privilege to be redeemed. It is our privilege to be pardoned. It is our privilege to be able to say that though my sins were scarlet, by his grace, by his mercy, and by his blood, they have been washed white as snow.
Like David had a decision to make, we have a decision to make. If we don't face the giants of evil in our culture, our children and our grandchildren have no hope. "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do"? Church, as it was then, so it is now. Just as there were vain arguments then, there's vain arguments now. Just as there was a need for truth then, there is a need for truth now. Just as he was God, who sits upon the throne then, he is King of kings and Lord of lords, and he sits upon the throne now. Just as he was greater than every enemy that they faced, just as he was greater than every barrier that they came to, just as he was greater than every need that they had, he is greater than anything that we could ask, think or imagine even now.
Church, it is time for the mighty and the righteous to arise and do great exploits in this generation, because God our father in heaven has promised us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us. And when we go into heavenly places, we have the authority of his kingdom and we have the power of his name! Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered! The church has a profession, "thou art the Christ". Any group that does not carry that profession is not his church. Any group that's trying to redefine its convictions to comfort the culture is not his church. "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God". That's the profession. "And the gates of hell shall not prevail". Say that with me. "The gates of hell shall not prevail".
Now I want you understand very clearly, the gates of hell are not at city hall. You may act like they are, but they're not. The gates of hell are not in the county commissioner's court. The gates of hell, depending on who wins the last election, are not in Austin or Washington, D.C. The gates of hell are not in New York at the U.N. building. When we're talking about the kingdom and we're talking about the authority that it possesses, it's not in any physical location or address here on this earth unless it's a church, because the church is the embassy of the Kingdom of God. And the reason why it's important for us to understand this is not only Paul's statement in Ephesians 6, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and hosts in heavenly places". Or what he said to the church in Corinthians, "we make war in the heavenlies, casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God".
The reason that we have to remember this is because I have regular conversations with people in church, "the church" where Jesus said, "the gates of hell shall not prevail". And they tell me, "oh, I know what the Bible says. But did you hear what they said at city hall"? Those gates ain't big enough. "But did you hear what the county decided"? Those gates ain't big enough. "Well, I don't know if it's the right time for us to do that, pastor. Did you understand what's going on in Austin or did you understand what's going on in the capital, or did you understand what's going on in the White House"? Those gates ain't big enough. "Did you hear what the world health organization said"? Not big enough. "Did you hear what the U.N. Said"?
Don't matter. Why? Because the gates of hell are bigger than all of those gates. And what my God told me is that in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and his son, whenever I go into heavenly places and I bind the gates of hell, they're bound down here on earth. And when I open the windows of heaven, they're opened up here on earth. Why? Because there's one set of gates that are bigger than the gates of hell, and those are the gates that lead to glory that have been flung open wide by Jesus Christ, my Lord! "There is no other name given among men whereby we might be saved other than the name of Jesus Christ". So church, let God arise and let his enemies be scattered! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
We have created a vacuum. And it's time for us to repent and get back in alignment with the Cornerstone. The Cornerstone is not found in a church charter. It's not placed on a letterhead. The Cornerstone is seated at the right hand of God the Father. When we're in alignment with him, we have the promise of his power here on this earth. Now think for just a moment about how much Jesus trusts you. This is amazing to me. I mean I like a lot of you. No, no, no. I love all of you. The Bible said I have to love all of you. He didn't say I have to like all of you. It said I have to love all of you.
And as many of you as I like and know well, I don't trust you as much as Jesus does. Because the next thing that Jesus said in Matthew 16 is something that I wouldn't do. He said, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against you". And then he said, "I will give you the keys". If you ask me for my keys, I'd say, "what do you want them for? Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? When will you be back? Sign this waiver that says, 'any damage done to the vehicle between these hours... And fill it up, premium'". When Jesus says he's going to give you the keys, he's saying, "I trust you". If you open it up on earth, I trust you that it can be opened up in heaven. And if you close it down on earth, I trust you, and I'll close it down in heaven.
Child of God, if you understood how much power you possess in the authority of Jesus' name with what he gave you permission to do, you would tell hell to back up every morning when you got out of bed, because you are more than a conqueror through Christ. You have the keys to provision. You have the keys to prosperity. You have the keys to victory. You have the keys to peace of mind. You have the keys to triumph. God is not sending you down here, powerless to survive. He filled you with his power so that you could declare his truth and you could see his kingdom come! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Would you stand right where you are? I promise you this, church: his power hasn't changed. His promise hasn't changed. Our purpose hasn't changed. If we will get over our preferences and allow his promises to be activated in our lives, we'll see God do things in this nation and in this generation, greater than anything we ever thought could be done. Because that's the kind of God we serve. Give him a handclap of praise in this house.