December 21, 2012

What does Christmas mean to you?

Guests: Pastor Rick Warren

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 21, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Pastor Rick Warren is considered to be one of the most influential religious leaders in the country. His book, the purpose driven life has been read by more than 60 million people worldwide and it is currently being re-released to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Now, I recently sat down with Pastor Warren to talk about the meaning of Christmas. What does Christmas mean to Rick Warren?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR RICK WARREN, "WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?": The very first Christmas the angels said three things. Those three things are the three purposes of Christmas. Celebration. Salvation. Reconciliation. Here are the three things. The first thing the angel announced is, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people. Christmas is a time to celebrate and America right now needs to celebrate. People are down, they're discouraged. We've had four, nearly five years of bad economic

news. We need a party.

(LAUGHTER)

We need to celebrate.

HANNITY: When Pastor Warren says, you need a party, all right.

WARREN: We need -- I bring you good news of great joy. By the way which shall be for all people.

HANNITY: Can we turn the water into wine, too, in the process?

(LAUGHTER)

WARREN: Christmas is not just for Christians, by the way, it says, which shall be for all people.

HANNITY: Right.

WARREN: So, it is for all people. It's a time for celebration. Then he says, the angel said behold I bring to you born in this day in the city of David is a savior this Christ the lord. Whether we need it or not, we all need a savior. OK, we all need saving from everything. We certainly need saving from our sins. We need saving from ourselves. We need saving from our faults. But a lot of people need being saved financially. They need to be saved emotionally. They need to be saved relationally.

They need to be saved out of a life of drug abuse or a battered wife. There are a lot of people. So, their salvation is personal and it is universal in the salvation of Jesus Christ on the cross dying for our sins but it's also what else do I need to be saved from in my life and it is an ongoing thing.

HANNITY: No book that I know, so except the bible, more books than I think you probably are the second biggest seller of books of anybody.

Two books I read, heaven is real.

WARREN: Yes.

HANNITY: The story of this little boy.

WARREN: Yes.

HANNITY: And Piper's book Dan Piper I think is his name, 60 minutes in heaven, "90 Minutes in Heaven."

WARREN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: OK. What do you think happens when you die? What do you think happens?

WARREN: Well, the bible says real clearly to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. In other words, I instantly go into the presence of God.

HANNITY: That's it?

WARREN: That's it. There's no delay. You go directly.

HANNITY: But you believe in hell?

WARREN: Of course, I do.

HANNITY: All right. So some people are not instantly.

WARREN: No, of course, I do. In fact, the bible says, Jesus said to the thief on one side of the cross, he said lord, remember me when you come into the kingdom and Jesus said today, this day you will be in paradise.

Not tomorrow. Not in a year. Today.

HANNITY: Well, I mean, so if straight and narrow is the way and few are those who find it, does that mean few get to heaven?

WARREN: Well, certainly it does. And --

HANNITY: So that the majority of us then go to hell?

WARREN: Well, the issue is this.

HANNITY: Not a great thing to be talking about at Christmas time. By the way.

WARREN: If you got two doors. One says, this goes to life with eternity with God and this one says eternity without God.

HANNITY: Right.

WARREN: If I walk out the door that says eternity without God, do I blame God for that? No. That is my choice.

HANNITY: Right.

WARREN: That is my choice. And so I choose to go to hell. You have to do almost the impossible. What you have to do, you have to reject the grace of Jesus Christ that he has offered and freed everybody.

HANNITY: But doesn't that go against straight and narrow is the way and few are those who find it? Isn't that predicated on a belief? Correct me if -- you are the pastor, I'm just the humble questioner here.

WARREN: Yes.

HANNITY: Few are those that find it. Few.

WARREN: And the reason why few find it is because fundamentally we all want to be God.

HANNITY: We have pride. Ego. The fall of man.

WARREN: The middle letter of sin is "I." The middle letter of pride is "I." It is all about me. It was pride that got Satan kicked out of heaven. And what caused not just for us to miss heaven and end up in hell, is the pride that says, I want to be God and I want to be God and I want to do it my way. Now, heaven is God's place. It is his house. He gets to choose how we go there. I don't get to choose that.

HANNITY: He says, he goes to prepare in my father's house for many mansions and I go to prepare a place for you.

WARREN: Sure. Jesus said, I am the way. The truth and the life. No one comes and thought about let me -- he didn't say one way, he didn't say in the best way. He didn't say I'm a good way. He said I'm it. I'm the way.

HANNITY: That's it.

WARREN: Now, here is what I hear a lot of people saying. I believe Jesus was a great man. I believe he was a great teacher. That is the one thing he could not possibly be. Because he claimed to be God. If you are a good teacher you don't make that kind of claim. You are either who you are or you are a fake, you are phony, you are a nut case.

HANNITY: You got to solve a debate between my masters in divinity wife and myself. We always argue about.

WARREN: This about to get her degree.

HANNITY: Yes. OK. So, this is what we argue about that Jesus is God. And I'm saying, wait a minute. Why callest thou me good, it is my father he doeth the works.

WARREN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: And there are all these areas where he separates himself from his father.

WARREN: Yes. Right. Now, you are getting to the issue of the trinity which has been often stated to try to deny the trinity is to lose

your soul. To try to understand the trinity is to lose your mind.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: How many angels --

WARREN: Yes. Because for me to understand really all about God, it is like an ant trying to understand the internet. I don't have the brain capacity. If I could understand how God really worked, I would be god.

And I found one of the greatest source of stress relief if my life is to repeat this three times every day. God is God and I'm not.

HANNITY: All right.

WARREN: God is God and I'm not.

HANNITY: Merry Christmas, pastor.

WARREN: Merry Christmas.

HANNITY: Good to see you. I appreciate you being with us.

WARREN: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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