John Hagee is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and a prominent televangelist and supporter of the nation of Israel. Katyusha rockets recently hit Cornerstone Church's Absorption Center in Kiryat Yam, Israel. John Hagee ministries is a strong advocate of the state of Israel, and his most recent book on the Middle East conflict, Jerusalem Countdown, reached number two in Publisher Weekly's monthly sales list and is approaching one million copies sold.
John Hagee is a dispensationalist. In his book he states that the real enemy is Iran, and that the Arab nations, including Iran, will align themselves together to destroy Israel, and that a peace agreement will be brokered by the U.N. --- led by the Anti-Christ --- and Israel will be saved from destruction, but for just a short period. According to Hagee, the peace will be broken when Russia, China and the Arab nations will come together again in an alliance against Israel, and will seek to destroy her after just a little over three years of peace. It is then, according to Hagee's book, that Jesus Christ return to set up His kingdom on earth.
I am not a dispensationalist, but I marvel at how many Christians believe it to be the orthodox understanding of the end times. There are many very real problems with dispensationalism, not the least of which is the teaching of the Bible that the Old Covenant with Israel has been abolished. But rather than go into great detail on eshcatology, I am simply pointing out a couple of concerns I have of regarding the end product of dispensationalism.
(1). Dispensationalism does not allow for the possibility that Iran will be defeated by Israel and/or the United States militarily, and that the people of Iran will be allowed to establish a pro-democracy government where they can worship and live in freedom.
(2). Dispensationalism does not allow for the possiblity that the world might endure a veritable World War III and come out the other side with greater peace, greater freedom, and greater productivity than ever before.
(3). Dispensationalism sees only one end to any world wide conflict, and that is the personal, visible, physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth.
(4). Dispensationalism runs the risk of bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ into disrepute, for if fifty years from now Islamic fanaticism is defeated, and all Islamic states moderate in their view of the world and Israel, then the question will be asked, again, what about the return of Christ?
(5). The gospel contains within it a personal eschatalogy for every human being. Jesus Christ will come for every person on the day of his death, just as He has since the beginning of time, and every person apart from faith in Christ will give an account to Him for how he has lived his life. This is the coming that really counts and it could happen any day for any of us.
My grandfather, Fred Cherry, was good friends with Arthur W. Pink. On the wall in my office I have a letter from my grandfather to Mr. Pink requesting a copy of his book "The Redeemer's Return." The letter is dated April, 1947, one year before Israel even became a state. Mr. Pink responds to my granfather's request a month later by saying his book, "The Redeemer's Return" is now out of print, and he closes the letter by saying this:
"My 'Redeemer's Return' was written 30 year ago, in the days of my spiritual infancy, when I received without question the teaching of older men. For 40 years I have studied prophecy and today it is my firm conviction that most of what has been written is guesswork!
I fully agree with the spiritually minded C.H. Spurgeon, who said: 'I scarcely consider myself qualified to explain any part of the Book of Revelation, and none of the expositions I have ever seen entice me to attempt this task, for they are mostly occupied with a refutation of all the interpretations that have gone before, and each one seems to be very successful indeed in proving that all the rest knows nothing at all about the matter.'
If you ask then, 'why then did God give us the Revelation?' I answer, 'to stain the pride of man, to expose our ignorance until such time as the whole of it is fulfilled.
My advise is, leave Prophecy alone, and concentrate on the practical portions of the Word!
You asked me which parts of my "Redeemer Returns" I no longer agree with? Answer, "The Signs of His Return,' particularly -- He has not come yet! and may not, for anything any man on earth knows, for thousands of years! May the Lord enable us to put first things first (Matthew 6:33) -- the Revelation is at the END of the Bible!"
Yours by Divine Mercy, A.W. Pink
Sage counsel indeed by a former dispensationalist who died with the more important matters on his mind.
In His Grace,