Pastor John Hagee helped kick off Liberty University’s first Israel Emphasis Week at Wednesday’s convocation.
Hagee has visited Thomas Road Baptist Church and has spoken at the church’s Celebrate America event held at Liberty’s Williams Stadium, but this was the first time he had addressed students in convocation. He said he was eager to accept the invitation.
“I did so because this is one of the leading universities in America, because of my love and appreciation for Dr. [Jerry] Falwell, Sr. and for what his son is trying to do to make this university a spiritual lighthouse to the nations of the world,” Hagee said.
Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of the 19,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. His radio and television broadcasts are shown across America and in 240 nations worldwide. He has written 32 books, including two New York Times bestsellers. He signed copies of his book, “Can America Survive?: 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation” after convocation.
He began Wednesday’s talk by remembering the first time he met Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., when Falwell picked him up at the airport on the way to the church’s Celebrate America event. He recalled Falwell’s humorous prank of driving on campus, blowing the horn on his Suburban and watching the students scatter. He also recalled Falwell’s strong support for Christians United for Israel, the organization Hagee founded in 2006 and is now the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States with more than 500,000 members. Falwell was a charter member of the board and the first recipient of its Defender of Israel Award, Hagee said.
“I shall always cherish Dr. Falwell as a champion for Christ, as a bold leader, as a courageous man, as a fearless man, as a world-class visionary who made this great university possible.”
Hagee then spoke about the main conflicts Israel is dealing with today -- a threat of nuclear war by Iran and the pressures to parcel out parts of land “to appease the enemies of Israel.”
“Giving up land for peace has never worked and it never will work,” Hagee said. “ … Israel is not the problem. … The problem is the Arab rejection of Israel’s right to exist. The problem is Israel does not have a partner for peace in this time. … The problem is radical Islam’s bloodthirsty embrace of a theocratic dictatorship that believes they have the mandates of God to kill Christians and Jews. … ”
He said Christians should stand behind the nation “because we believe in the Bible,” he said. “ … The Bible presents the Jewish people as the apple of God’s eye, the chosen people, the cherished people, the Covenant people. …
“If you took away the Jewish contributions to Christianity, there would be no Christianity. Judaism does not need Christianity to explain its existence, but Christianity cannot explain its existence without Judaism.”
Hagee said Israel needs a partner in the United States.
“If America turns its back on Israel, God will turn His back on America,” he said. “... Both America and Israel are at war with a common enemy -- radical Islam. … It is a war of good versus evil, it is a war of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness versus the culture of death.”
Wednesday’s convocation also included a prerecorded video message from Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the United States. He spoke about Jewish heritage and the challenges the country faces today and thanked the university for its support of the Jewish people.
Israel Emphasis Week is being sponsored by Liberty’s Stand With Israel club, in conjunction with Christians United for Israel. The week includes distinguished guest speakers and influential leaders who strongly support the U.S.-Israel relationship.
ISRAEL EMPHASIS WEEK