This is my personal testimony from personal events in my life in the early 1980s. I share it with you now because like then, current events are once again foremost in my mind. And a man, Hal Lindsey has once again captured my attention. Let me tell you about those days in 1980 and 1981.
I was 36 then, and an atheist since the age of 19; and was the worlds leading authority on a book whose pages I’d never bothered to open.
Then while minding my own business in an apartment in Washington DC, a book caught my attention; The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. I picked up this book thinking it was a light read, a science fiction type book useful to fill time between the stressful meetings I was part of in Washington. I had no idea that his book was a best seller from 1970, and that the New York Times had called it the “no. 1 non-fiction bestseller of the decade.”
Lindsey’s book had the effect of being hit upside the head with a two-by-four. How can this be true?
I read through the book very quickly, and was captured by its message; bewildered is probably a better word. I think I read it through twice on that trip, and I was clearly troubled by its message.
I was traveling a lot in those days, and other books by Lindsey were in airport bookstores, and of course I picked them up and read them; books like There’s a New World Coming, Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, Planet Earth: The Final Chapter.
But then something else started to happen. Being somewhat of a skeptical fellow, but obviously hooked in some way to what this chap Lindsey was saying, I started to check up on him. This was before the days of the internet where I could have easily found his critics. Had I had such instant analysis of what a real religious kook this guy was, I could have quickly dismissed him and got back on track with my previous life.
But alas, all I had available to check up on this fellow was the, by now familiar, Gideon’s Bible in the hotel nightstands. You guessed it, I had Lindsey’s book open to a particular topic and the Bible open to check on the truth of what Lindsey was saying. Did you get that???? I was using the Bible as my truth source.
At some point I actually stole one of the Bibles and brought it home to continue my study. And of course being the good atheist I was I hid that Bible in a closet close to the upstairs bathroom where I would read in secret and away from my wife. And my trips to the Local Christian book stores were like a spy movie; scout the neighborhood, look up and down the street from across the street lest anyone I knew might see me entering that spooky place.
Shortly thereafter Diana and I started attending a very good Christian church and I started discovering many other wonderful things in that book I had so despised not long before; things not associated with prophecy, things that made me a better person, a better father, a better husband, a better citizen; I was being Born Again, and loving it.
That was many years ago; some 30 years in the past, and I have no regrets. Yes, I lost some friends, but my life since those days is immensely different and better than it would have been had I remained on my paths of the pre 1980s.
So why am I telling you all of this now? Because as I said at the outset of this missive, I have been paying attention to current events and Hal Lindsey (but not he alone) is once again capturing my attention.
Consider these events, and cross reference them to what the Bible has to say:
- Israel has been re-established (1948) as a nation in it’s ancient homeland. This after centuries of being scattered around the world and hounded and tormented wherever Jews find themselves living; just as Moses had written about thousands of years before.
- Modern Israel has been attacked in at least 5 wars by its Arab/Islamic neighbors, including one begun on the very day it was established in 1948. Each of these wars was fought by the Arabs with the intent of total annihilation of the Jews.
- Iran is very, very close to obtaining nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Israel.
- Iran,has continuously threatened Israel with total destruction, in a continuation of Hitler’s “Final Solution.”
- China is arising as a super power to the East.
- Russia, an ally of Iran, threatens to get involved if Israel acts in self defense and strikes Iran’s nuclear sites.
- Israel is becoming totally isolated as even the United States is backing away from it.
- Israel is very close to launching a preemptive strike against the nuclear sites in Iran.
- US Israeli relations are breaking down leaving Israel isolated against an existential threat; Existential is just a big word for describing what happened in Dachau, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and throughout Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
Back to Lindsey. Lindsey is still around, and still a good source on the matter of God’s Word, the Bible, as it relates to current world events. I encourage you to do as I did so many years ago; PAY ATTENTION! And a good place to start is The Hal Lindsey Report.
Time may be shorter than you think!
Best regards, and God Bless,
Don Johnson – September 2012