I have been reading articles on many web sites concerning Dr. John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. I watch this man every Sunday on television before I attend my local church. He preaches the hard truth. I say it is hard because the truth generally is. It is not easy in this day, as well as it was in Bible times, to hear that what we are doing that is against God’s will. It is not easy to here about consequences. That does not mean we can wave aside what Dr. Hagee is saying and conclude that he is “crazy” because he teaches a hard truth. What he teaches comes directly from God’s word and he is just the messenger. If you don’t believe what he says, look it up in scripture. He always gives the congregation the references from Scripture.
Dr. Hagee does not chose to tiptoe carefully around the truth of what God says, leaving out teachings that may upset some people. He does not have to speak politely about issues in order to get believers in Senator McCain’s court. Dr. Hagee’s revelation comes from a higher authority. He cannot change the Word of God and still be true to himself or to those who are listening. He chooses to preach what is there, just like it is written. That is his job, pleasant or not. The Bible is called a “two edged sword that exposes” (Hebrews 4:12). The truth stands on it’s own. We all have unpleasant duties to perform in our secular careers. Our boss expects us to follow through on what he has asked us to do. God has given Dr. Hagee a hard job in these difficult days. He expects him to speak the truth. Those of us who trust him to tell us what God’s heart and mind is like, pray that he will continue to preach truth. We do not want to hear lies. Our eternity depends on it.
There are many people who “want their ears tickled,” meaning that people enjoy hearing what is pleasant and pleasing to them. Who doesn’t want to hear that we have done a good job or that God is pleased with us? However, if that is not true, why should we want to hear it? We need to hear the truth so that we can repent, adjust our way of thinking and move closer to being like God.
If Pastor Hagee says that the Jewish nation has suffered because of disobedience, it is a hard thing to hear. However, if it is the truth from God’s Word, how can he preach anything else? In the book of Leviticus, chapter 26, verses 14-39, God explains through Moses what will happen if “ye will not hearken (or listen and obey) me.” These are words directly to the Jewish people. They are learning the guidelines and laws for living, preparing them to be a great nation. There are promises and there are consequences of breaking the covenant. God’s heart, however, is tender toward Israel and because of his mercy, even in their sin, he punishes them in order to bring them back into His arms. He doesn’t just leave them in their sin and out of harmony with Him. In Leviticus 26, verse 40, God speaks of confession and restoration. Like the Israelites, we too suffer if we disobey God’s call to us. But He redeemed us through his death and resurrection. Being a Christ follower is a hard business. It is not an easy path. It is worth every step, however. It involves sacrifice, which is another word we hate to hear.
Hearing the truth and living the believer’s life is similar to going to school. We all know that when we start school, there are many days, months and years of it. Not all of those days are pleasant. Some of full of hard study, digging into our books and disciplining ourselves to say “no” to friends when we must stay home to study instead of going out. There are tests…those terrible things! But, here again, we have to take them. There are projects and experiments and reports, which at the time seem ridiculous. But we have to endure and push through. We all want the reward at the end…the diploma…the degree! We would all love to hear our parents and our teachers say, “It’s OK, stay home today” or “You don’t have to take this test” or “Relax, don’t worry about the grade.” But we have to hear the truth in order to get on with obtaining our reward. If they lied to us and we believed them, and didn’t do what we needed to do, we would be infuriated to learn at the end of school, we didn’t earn the diploma or degree because we didn’t complete all that was required. We would want to retaliate against our parents and teachers because they gave us false information and allowed us to stray from our goal.
It is the same with expecting our prophets of our time to be true to us. However, we lose a great deal more than a man-made reward. We lose eternity with God. I want it given to me straight. Preach on, Dr. Hagee!