This is the forum area where you can discuss topics related to the Biblical exposure of Greek organizations. All posts are reviewed; if they are offensive they'll be deleted.
Any copyrighted material contained herein is for: criticism, comments, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. All used in accordance with the Fair Use Exception 17 USC 107.
PLEASE PRAY FOR JOHN HAGEE
Salvation Without Conversion?
Hagee is recognized as a fierce foe of anti-Semitism. An outspoken supporter of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the nation Israel, he has been given the "Humanitarian of the Year" award by the San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council. Hagee has also been bestowed the "ZOA Israel Service Award" by the Zionist Organization in Dallas and honored with the "Henrietta Szold Award" by the Texas Southern Region of Hadassah.8
While his bold stance against anti-Semitism is certainly praiseworthy, Hagee's zealousness for the Jewish people and their cause has led him to commit a most serious doctrinal error — salvation for the Jews without conversion to Christianity. One newspaper account puts it this way:
Trying to convert Jews is a "waste of time," he [Hagee] said. . . .
Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha'i, needs to believe in Jesus, he says. But not Jews. Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced with Christianity, he says.
"The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses," Hagee said. "I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.
"The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation. And God has not," said Hagee . . .9
"There are right now Jewish people on this earth who have a powerful and special relationship with God," declares Hagee in one of his books. "They have been chosen by the 'election of grace' in which God does what he does without asking man to approve or understand it. Let us put an end to the Christian chatter that "all the Jews are lost" and can't be in the will of God until they convert to Christianity! . . . there are a certain number of Jews in relationship with God right now through divine election." 10
Hagee also affirms: "If God blinded the Jewish people to the identity of Jesus as Messiah, how could He send them to hell for not seeing what he had forbidden them to see?"11 He continues, "All people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ. The question is one of timing." 12
Such rhetoric raises some thorny questions. When Hagee says "all people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ," he is either advocating universalism (literally all people — Jewish and Gentile — will be saved), or he believes that all Jews will be saved. In either case, both positions are in serious error, but the latter is more consistent with his other statements.
The "timing" of the salvation of the entire Jewish nation is actually irrelevant to Hagee's argument since he advocates that it is a waste of time attempting to convert them. At best, then, Hagee implies that even if they are not currently saved, God will save all Jewish keepers of the Law — past, present, and future — at some future point.
The Bible paints a different picture. The apostle Paul demonstrates that Israel had a responsibility to respond to the Gospel, but rejected it. In Romans 10:19-21, he asks, "Did they [the Jews] fail to hear?" The rhetorical answer is "no." Paul relates that, as light and darkness are understood by all, so the gospel has been made known to all the Jews (cf. Acts 17:6; 21:28). He continues, "Did they fail to understand?" The answer once again is "no." Since Israel has become disobedient through unbelief (Rom. 11:30), God has delivered the gospel to the Gentiles.13
But God has not entirely rejected Israel — Paul (himself a Jew) is living proof of this (Rom. 11:1). God has preserved a remnant, while the others were hardened as a consequence of their unbelief and trusting in works instead of the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 11:5-7; cf. 9:31-32; 11:20-23). Elsewhere the apostle writes, ". . . by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His [God's] sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:20, 23-24, emphasis added).
To drive the point home, Paul goes on to say, ". . . the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise nullified; . . . it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace" (Rom. 4:13- 14, 16). Scripture draws no distinction between Jews and Gentiles on the issue of salvation, which is attained by grace through faith alone in Christ, "apart from works of the law" (3:28; cf. vv. 21-22).
Paul recognized that the Jews of his day had a misguided zeal that caused them to stumble on this very point (9:31-32; 10:2-4). Why would he suffer great anguish and wish he were accursed for Israel's sake if none of them were truly lost? His anguish comes from the realization that many Israelites are not saved (Rom. 9:3, 6, 27; 10:1, 9-15; cf. Acts 2:14, 21, 37-39; Rom. 11:14, 17-23).
The Law, revealed through the Jews, was meant to be "our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Gal. 3:24-25). As the Bible clearly states: "There is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" (vv. 28-29). To be saved, a person — whether Jew or Gentile — must turn to Christ (5:4-6; cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9-13) who is "the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes" (Rom. 10:4). In writing that the "message of the gospel was from Israel, not to Israel,"14 Hagee discourages Christians from sharing the Good News with unsaved Jews who, like everyone else, have need of the gospel if they are to spend eternity with God in heaven.
The Reluctant Messiah
In Hagee's theology, the Jews can hardly be faulted for not flocking to Christianity since it was supposedly Jesus who declined their request for Him to be their Messiah. "The [Jewish] people wanted Him to be their Messiah, but He absolutely refused," writes Hagee. "The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah, it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews!"15
Suffice it to say, Jesus' explicit claim to be the Messiah (or Christ) during His trial before the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish tribunal (Matt. 26:64), flatly contradicts Hagee's assertion. In that same passage, Jesus called Himself the "Son of Man," an unmistakable reference to the Book of Daniel (7:13) which alludes to the Messiah. Jesus also applied the same title to Himself in revealing His identity to "a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council" (John 3:1, 14-15), as well as to the crowd who questioned His authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10).
Furthermore, in response to Jesus' question, "Who do you say I am?" (Matt. 16:15), Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah]" (v. 16). Surely, had the Jewish apostle been wrong, Jesus would have corrected him at that moment; instead, Peter received the Lord's blessing (v. 17).16 Jesus, however, instructed Peter, along with several others, not to reveal His messianic identity until due time (v. 20). He did so to avoid the prevalent misconceptions about the title, which had by then become largely understood in political terms17 — something wholly inappropriate for Jesus' mission at that time — though Jesus did, on occasion, give public indications of His messiahship (cf. Luke 4:17-21; 20:41-44).
Indeed, Hagee's view is made especially ironic by the fact that Jesus Himself said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus' own people rejected Him, and not the other way around (John 1:11; Mark 12:1-12).