Why Evangelical Christians
One day in the late 19th Century, Queen Victoria of England
reportedly asked her Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, this question:
"Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence
Disraeli thought for a moment and then replied, "The Jew, your
Think of it, according to Disraeli, the primary evidence that God exists
is the existence of the Jewish people
A people who in 586 BC were
deported to Babylon, yet returned after 70 years to rebuild a nation.
Who were again brutally massacred and dispersed by the Romans in 70
AD, yet after countless centuries of Diaspora, expulsions, pogroms,
ghettos, and attempts at genocidal extermination, have clung to their
faith, their customs -- and now after some 2500 years of wandering have
returned to the land promised by God to their ancestors. A new nation
began in that land in 1948 named after their ancestor Jacob, whose divinely
appointed name Israel means "Prince with God." And to fulfill
another ancient prophecy, God moved on the heart of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda,
whose son Ehud told me that, while his father was living in Eastern
Europe, he heard a voice and saw a light directing him to bring forth
for the Jewish people a pure language-Hebrew-the language of the Torah
and of the ancient prophets.
Yes, the survival of the Jewish people is a miracle of God. The return
of the Jewish people to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
is a miracle of God. The remarkable victories of Jewish armies against
overwhelming odds in successive battles in 1948, and 1967, and 1973
are clearly miracles of God. The technological marvels of Israeli industry,
the military prowess, the bounty of Israeli agriculture, the fruits
and flowers and abundance of the land are a testimony to God's watchful
care over this new nation and the genius of this people.
Yet what has happened was clearly foretold by the ancient prophet Ezekiel,
who, writing at the time of the Babylonian captivity, declared this
message for the Jewish people concerning latter days.
"For I will take you out of the nation; I will gather you from
all the countries and bring you back to your own land
I will give
you a new heart and put a new spirit in you
to follow my decrees
and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your
forefathers; you will be my people and I will be your God. I will save
you from all your uncleanness.
"I will call for the grain and make it plentiful
increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that
you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine
"This is what the Sovereign Jehovah says, 'On the day I cleanse
you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will
be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate
in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, "This land
that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that
were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.'
"Then the nations around you that remain will know that I, Jehovah,
have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate.
I, Jehovah, have spoken, and I will do it." (Ezekiel 36:24 ff).
Ladies and Gentleman, evangelical Christians support Israel because
we believe that the words of Moses and the ancient prophets of Israel
were inspired by God. We believe that the emergence of a Jewish state
in the land promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was ordained
We believe that God has a plan for this nation which He intends to
be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.
Of course, we, like all right-thinking people, support Israel because
Israel is an island of democracy, an island of individual freedom, an
island of the rule of law, and an island of modernity in the midst of
a sea of dictatorial regimes, the suppression of individual liberty,
and a fanatical religion intent on returning to the feudalism of 8th
These facts about modern day Israel are all true. But mere political
rhetoric does not account for the profound devotion to Israel that exists
in the hearts of tens of millions of evangelical Christians.
You must realize that the God who spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai is
our God. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our spiritual Patriarchs. Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, and Daniel are our prophets. King David, a man after God's
own heart, is our hero. The Holy City of Jerusalem is our spiritual
capital. And the continuation of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land
is a further bulwark to us that the God of the Bible exists and that
His Word is true.
And we should clearly take note that evangelical Christians serve a
Jew that we believe was the divine Messiah of Israel, spoken of by the
ancient prophets, to whom He entrusted the worldwide dissemination of
His message to 12 Jewish apostles.
It should be noted that today Christianity, with well over two billion
adherents, is by far the fastest growing religion in the world. Within
20 years, that number will swell to three billion. Of these, at
least six hundred million are Bible-believing evangelicals and charismatics
who are ardent supporters of the nation of Israel. In 20 years,
that number will reach one billion. Israel has millions of Christian
friends in China, in India, in Indonesia, throughout Africa and South
America, as well as North America.
We are with you in your struggle. We are with you as a wave of anti-Semitism
is engulfing the earth. We are with you despite the pressure of the
"Quartette" and the incredibly hostile resolutions of the
United Nations. We are with you despite the threats and ravings of Wahabbi
Jihadists, Hezbollah thugs, and Hamas assassins.
We are with you despite oil embargos, loss of allies, and terrorist
attacks on our cities.
We evangelical Christians merely say to our Israeli friends, "Let
us serve our God together by opposing the virulent poison of anti-Semitism
and anti-Zionism that is rapidly engulfing the world."
Having affirmed our support, I would humbly make two requests of our
First, please don't commit national suicide. It is very hard for your
friends to support you, if you make a conscious decision to destroy
I hardly find it necessary to remind this audience of the stated objectives
of Yasser Arafat, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. Their
goal is not peace, but the final destruction of the State of Israel.
At no time do they, or their allies in the Muslim world, acknowledge
the sovereignty of Israel over even one square inch of territory in
the Middle East. If a Palestinian State is created in the heart of Israel
with sovereign power to deploy troops, import modern weapons -- even weapons
of mass destruction --and operate with full secrecy and diplomatic immunity,
the ability of the State of Israel to defend itself will be fatally
The slogan "land for peace" is a cruel chimera. The Sinai
was given up. Did that bring lasting peace? No. Southern Lebanon was
given up. Did that bring lasting peace? No. Instead Hezbollah rode tanks
to the border of Israel shouting, "On to Jerusalem!" Now,
as many as 10,000 rockets aimed at Metulla, Qiryat Shemona, and all
of Northern Israel have been put in place throughout Southern Lebanon.
Arafat was brought up at the knees of the man who yearned to finish
the work of Adolf Hitler. How can any realist truly believe that this
killer and his associates can become trusted partners for peace?
I am aware of the deep feelings of many Israelis who yearn for peace.
Who long to be free from the terror of the suicide bombers of the intifada.
I would draw their attention to the fact that during the Cold War, the
American people yearned to be free from the constant threat of a nuclear
holocaust. Then, at Reykjavik, Iceland on the occasion of a summit between
President Ronald Reagan of the United Sates and Premier Mikhail Gorbachev
of the Soviet Union, what seemed like an incredible opportunity for
peace was presented to President Reagan by Mr. Gorbachev. An offer was
made for hitherto undreamed of reductions in nuclear weapons. Gorbachev's
offer included everything the U.S. arms negotiations had wanted, except
one thing. The condition for the Russian offer was to be the agreement
by the United States to abandon the so-called "star wars"
Strategic Defense Initiative.
Mr. Reagan carefully considered the offer then reluctantly said no.
Without the Strategic Defense Initiative, there would be no deal. Gorbachev
was stunned. Then both leaders, with sadness in their hearts, adjourned
the meeting and departed Reykjavik.
Once again, the world was hovering on the brink of nuclear annihilation.
The American liberal press was apoplectic at Reagan's decision. But
he held firm.
Now we all know that he was right. The Russians could not compete with
the United States in a nuclear arms race and Gorbachev knew it. The
bluster was over. The threats were over. Reagan had won by standing firm.
Soon freedom broke out in Poland, in Hungary, in East Germany. The Berlin
Wall came down. The barbed wire fences came down. And Soviet Communism
The world is safe from super power nuclear terror. This terror is no
more because one strong leader stood against public opinion, against
the advice of many of his own counselors and said no! May the leaders
of Israel in 2004 have the courage to look the nations of the world
in the eye, and when your national interests demand it, say no!
Second, the world's Christians ask that you do not give away the treasured
symbols of your spiritual patrimony.
I read recently in The Wall Street Journal an article written by an
American Jewish commentator who remarked that the Temple Mount and what
is termed the "Wailing Wall" are "sacred stones and sites,"
but hardly worth bloodshed.
Just think -- the place where the Patriarch Abraham took Isaac to offer
him to God. The place bought by King David from Araunah where the Angel
of the Lord stood with drawn sword. The place of Solomon's temple. The
place of the Holy of Holies. The place where Jesus Christ walked and
taught. The very spiritual center of the Jewish worship of the one true
God -- nothing but a pile of sacred stones -- unworthy of sacrifice? What
an incredible assertion!
Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake -- the entire world is being convulsed
by a religious struggle. The fight is not about money or territory;
it is not about poverty versus wealth; it is not about ancient customs
versus modernity. No. The struggle is whether Hubal, the Moon God of
Mecca, known as Allah, is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah
God of the Bible is Supreme.
If God's chosen people turn over to Allah control of their most sacred
sites-if they surrender to Muslim vandals the tombs of Rachel, of Joseph,
of the Patriarchs, of the ancient prophets-if they believe their claim
to the Holy Land comes only from Lord Balfour of England and the ever
fickle United Nations rather than the promises of Almighty God-then
in that event, Islam will have won the battle. Throughout the Muslim
world the message will go forth-"Allah is greater than Jehovah.
The promises of Jehovah to the Jews are meaningless.
"We can now, in the name of Allah, move to crush the Jews and
drive them out of the land that belongs to Allah."
In short, those political initiatives that some have asserted will
guarantee peace, will in truth guarantee unending struggle and ultimate
failure. Those political leaders who only understand the secular dimension
of Israel's existence and who cavalierly dismiss the spiritual dimension
will find that they receive the mess of pottage of Esau rather than
the inheritance of Jacob.
On Christmas Day in 1974, I had the privilege of interviewing Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin for my television program, The 700 Club.
Rabin lamented the fact that after Israeli military victories, the nation
had been stopped from achieving a peace treaty.
That was 30 years ago. Israel seemed as isolated and alone then
as it does today. As I concluded my interview, I asked Prime Minister
Rabin a final question. "What would you want the United States
to do now for Israel?"
He replied without hesitation. "Be strong! Be strong!"
That evening I joined for dinner a group of several hundred people
who had accompanied me from the United States. We were meeting in the
large dining room of the InterContinental Hotel on the Mount of Olives
in Jerusalem, whose floor-to-ceiling windows gave a stunning view of
the illuminated Temple Mount. As I related to the group the substance
of my meeting, I began to recall the feeling of sadness which had come
from the Prime Minister-the sense of the isolation of his nation. That
evening, I made a solemn vow to God that, despite whatever might happen
in the future, I and the organizations I headed would stand in support
of Israel and the Jewish people. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to
say that I have kept that vow each year since 1974.
In closing, I would deliver to Israel in 2004 the message Yitzhak Rabin
delivered to the United States on Christmas Day in 1974. For you are
the living witnesses that the promises of the Sovereign Lord are true.
"Be strong! Be strong!"
He will be with you and so will your evangelical friends.
Thank you, and God bless you!
Reaction to this speech
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.