SERMON: Dr. Elijah H. Hankerson – God says, ‘Humble Yourself’


On World Missions Sunday 2016, Dr. Elijah H. Hankerson III, President of the International Department of Evangelism of the Church of God In Christ, served as guest pastor at West Angeles Church. To prepare the saints to “impact the world,” his sermon for the day cites Luke 3 and the period of preparation before Jesus began His ministry.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you – John 15:7

“I remember when God called me,” said Bishop Hankerson of his own road to ministry. “I ended up on an entry-level job. Folks were beating up on me, saying, ‘You’re supposed to be anointed? What are you doing sitting here on this computer when God has called you to reach the world?’ I complained to God, saying ‘God, I gave you my life at a young age. I gave you everything. Why am I sitting here at this entry-level job?’

“I thought God was going to pat me on the back and tell me that everything is going to be alright. But God told me, ‘Your attitude is not right. You ought to be thankful you have that humble job to take care of your family…and I’m not going to take you to where you’re going until you praise Me.'”

The entire 21st World Missions Conference is available HERE, on West Angeles Gospel on Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“As we look at the life of Jesus Christ, we are always taught that every time Jesus was around, miracles were taking place. People were always getting healed. People were always getting set free. But I found out that really, when you study the life of Christ, according to Luke 3:23…His ministry did not start until He was 30 years old.”

“It wasn’t until Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost down at the Jordan River that Jesus began to work miracles. So it was during those 30 years that He had to learn how to submit Himself in order to be obedient. The Son of God didn’t know what it meant to be subject to His creation.”

“The Bible says that Jesus He learned obedience by the things that he suffered…He submits Himself and humbles Himself – even to the point of death.”

“Take note of this: all during those 30 years, during that time of ministry where He was learning and growing, the Bible lets us know that He humbly says, ‘I do nothing on my own accord. Everything my father says that’s what I say. Everything my father does, that’s what I do.’ That was His testimony before the cross.”

“After you come through the difficult times, you come out stronger.” – Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson III

“After He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day, He said, ‘My testimony has changed. Now…all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Me.’”

“How many of you know that after you come through the suffering, after you come through the difficult times, after you come through the valley of the shadow of death, you come out stronger, more anointed, with more power?”

 “For 90 percent of Jesus’ life, He was in preparation. For 90 percent of the time, He was in ministry. How many of you know that today, that’s what God is doing in our lives?

“God is preparing us. God has to prepare you to go out and win the world for Christ.”

“I remember when God called me to ministry…He said, ‘You’re going to take the gospel to the world. You’re going to go from sea to sea. You’re going to go from state to state. You’re going to go from nation to nation.’”

“God has to prepare you to go out and win the world for Christ.” – Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson III

“Sometimes God will speak a word in your heart, but you’re not ready to go forth with what God has for you.”

“Sometimes you’re too full of yourself. Sometimes you’re too full of pride. So God has to humble you down because the Bible says, ‘Humble yourself, then God will exalt you.'”

“How many know today that the call of God is on your life? You don’t have to network. You don’t have to know the right person.” 

“If God says, ‘It’s your time,’ then God will make it happen.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘God going to take you to where you’re going when you learn to praise Him through your tears, through your suffering, through your hard times.'”

“I dare you to lift your hands and say, ‘God, I’m going to trust you through the silent years, through my heartaches, I’m still going to trust you. Through my disappointments, I’m still going to trust you.’ Say ‘Yes!'”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘I’m glad He died for me; I’m glad He died for my sins! Every time I turn around, God is blessing me!'”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 15:7, Luke 3-4, Isaiah 6:1-3, Phil 2:8-10.


Dr. Elijah H. Hankerson III is on a mission to spread the gospel world-wide with the vision of “Life, love, and liberty for the Body of Christ.” He is President of the International Department of Evangelism of the Church of God In Christ, Inc., and Senior Pastor and founder of the Life Center International COGIC of Saint Louis, MO. Dr. Hankerson serves the Church of God in Christ in many capacities and posts, including the Jurisdictional Ordination Board, Chairman of the Public Relations Department for Missouri Eastern First Jurisdiction, Director of Public Relations for COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc., and internationally as Representative of the General Board to the General Assembly. The love and inspiration of Dr. Hankerson’s life is his lovely wife, Evangelist Rachel L. Hankerson and their three children: Elijah IV, Raquel and Matthew.

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