Editor’s note: Hal Lindsey is the host of “The Hal Lindsey Report,” a weekly half-hour news and commentary series, and the author of “The Late Great Planet Earth,” the best-selling book of the 1970s that popularized Bible prophecy for tens of millions around the world. You can learn more about Hal Lindsey and his TV show on his website.
I have spent the last six decades telling anyone who will listen that we are living in the final stretch to the end of this Age of Grace. The countdown began in earnest with the birth of the modern nation of Israel. That’s why I call Israel “God’s timeclock.”
Many of the prophecies about the end times are predicated on the return of God’s people to the land He promised them. That was an event many Bible scholars thought could never happen.
At various places, the Bible tells us what will be happening in the world around us. These signs will include physical events like earthquakes and wars. They will also include characteristics, attitudes and behaviors that manifest themselves in our cultures, our societies and in our individual selves.
On top of this, the Bible warns that as we move closer to the end of the Age, these signs will increase in intensity and frequency.
But to be candid, even I am surprised at some of the things I see playing out across our TV screens today. They are like bizarre scenes from a B-movie. Rational – or formerly rational – people engaged in behaviors and shenanigans most hack screenwriters would be embarrassed to include in their trashy screenplays.
One of the hallmarks of the last days will be the rise of irrationality. Romans 1:28 says, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.” The Greek context here means God gave them over to a mind that cannot even think in its own best interest.
Satan must be pleased. Hatred is on the rise in America. Everywhere we look, from politics to family life to racial groups to religious traditions to economic classes to sports, our impatience, disgust and sheer hatred of one another is exploding.
Everything we once held to be true and normal now seems to be turned on its head. No one trusts anyone anymore. But it’s no wonder. Truth has become a rare commodity in America today. Conscience even rarer.
I’m reminded of a remark found in Isaiah 5 that could perfectly describe the world today. Isaiah wrote, “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20 TLB)
What we see happening in America today would not have happened here even 30 years ago. But in those years, we have been rearing generations of people who have no moral compass. The forces of entertainment and education have successfully weakened our sense of heritage, responsibility, even right and wrong to the point that we can’t even think in our own best interest.
That’s one reason why when people come along and challenge the prevailing “wisdom” of the last few decades, they are treated with such disdain and disregard.
We see it plainly in the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
No matter the fact that The Oslo Accord – now 25 years old – has been an unmitigated, abject failure (a disaster, really), when President Trump suggests trying something different – like actually facing the realities of life in Israel – he is labeled a neophyte or, worse, a moron.
The president’s recent attempts to force the Palestinian Authority to enter serious peace negotiations with the Israelis have been met with derision at home and abroad. Though nothing has worked to end the conflict in the last 70 years, the world wants to keep doing more of the same. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?
Of course, those of us who believe Bible prophecy know that only the return of Jesus Christ to this earth will bring true, lasting peace to Israel.
But we who follow Jesus Christ need to wake up and smell the coffee, too. We are in the time that Jesus Himself warned us about. The time when the world – meaning the establishment – will hate us simply because we believe in and follow Him.
And what the world hates, it punishes and destroys.
That’s us, folks.
What else can explain the utter contempt being heaped on Vice President Mike Pence? Here is a man who embodies all of the ideals that we once looked for in a man: faith, fidelity to his wife and family, loyalty, honesty, hard work and sterling morals.
Yet Frank Bruni, writing in the New York Times, called Vice President Pence, “a holy terror … self-infatuated … a bigot … a liar … cruel.” He went on to accuse Mr. Pence of having “the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity.”
That’s the New York Times. And they’re not really talking only about Vice President Pence; that’s what the establishment thinks about you and me.
The Atlantic is one of the most prestigious magazines in the United States. It recently ran an article headlined, “God’s Plan for Mike Pence.”
It featured an illustration of Vice President Pence as a holy man, draped in the garb of an Apostle, his hands raised skyward and a look of holier-than-thou piety on his face. A halo framed his head.
That graphic mocked not only the vice president, but all people of faith, especially Christians.
The article described him as a “Bible thumper” who “often cited scripture to explain his votes.” The author, McKay Coppins called Mr. Pence, “dangerous.”
He wrote, “In some quarters on the left, it has become fashionable to fret that Pence’s fundamentalist faith and comparative political savvy would make him an even more ‘dangerous’ president than Trump. He has been branded a ‘theocrat’ and a ‘Christian supremacist.'”
California’s Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters has already publicly stated that once Trump has been taken care of, they’re going after the next one. That’s the vice president. And the groundwork is already being laid.
On the popular television program “The View,” Joy Behar said about the vice president, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s mental illness … hearing voices.”
Though she later apologized, her apology did not diminish the left’s growing tide of panic and hatred for Vice President Pence. And us.
Folks, this is nothing less than absolute spiritual warfare.
What we are seeing is the rise of a new anti-Christian caste system in America. Followers of Jesus are being systematically disqualified from positions of influence. Just last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders told a Senate hearing that Christians should not be allowed to serve in high positions in the government.
In the first 180 years of the Supreme Court, its justices were almost all Protestant. Today, there is one Protestant. Justice Neil Gorsuch was raised Catholic, but now attends an Episcopal church.
There are four Roman Catholic justices and three Jewish justices. President Trump’s current nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is Catholic.
For a while, Catholics were approved by the ruling elite, even conservative Catholics. Antonin Scalia was one of the most conservative justices in a generation. He was also a conservative Catholic. In 1986, the Senate confirmed him 98 to 0.
But that was another America.
Today, conservative Catholics are treated with the same disdain as evangelicals. I truly believe that one of the strongest underlying fears of the left – as embodied by the Democrat senators – is that a future Justice Kavanaugh’s religious faith, if given the opportunity, will compel him to undermine the sacred cows of the left, like abortion and gay marriage.
That means that his confirmation has taken on the earmarks of spiritual warfare, not simply a review of his judicial qualifications to sit on the highest court.
More than half the nation identifies as Protestant. More than a quarter identifies as evangelical. Where are they?
They have been systematically filtered out of the process. They can win elections, but are largely excluded from the judiciary; from tenured posts at universities; from leadership in the nation’s think tanks; from entertainment; and from thousands of other highly influential positions.
The nation that was founded by Christians on Christian principles became the envy of the world. It provided its citizens with more freedom and more prosperity than any other nation in history.
Now those Christians are becoming outcasts in the nation they built. And it’s not just the Christian faith that’s under attack, but Christian values, too.
Just as the Bible warned.
I say it again. This is spiritual warfare. It doesn’t have anything to do with rationality or intellectual debate. When the establishment comes after you because of your Christian beliefs, recognize that the source of that hostility is Hell itself.
Satan is behind the hatred of God’s people, whether it’s the Jews or true Christians. And he is going all-out to destroy the true church and everything the followers of Christ have built. That includes America.
But I have some good news.
Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB)
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, the Apostle Paul calls us “ambassadors for Christ.”
Consider this. Before hostilities break out between nations, they withdraw their respective ambassadors.
At some point in the near future, God will unleash His wrath against Satan and sin. But before He declares war on this sin-infested planet, God will remove His ambassadors. He will evacuate us from this hostile situation. He will get us out before the real shooting-war begins.
We call this evacuation operation “The Rapture.”
The Bible calls it our “blessed hope.” (Titus 2:13 NASB)