Special Report: Hal Lindsey –Still Kicking at 75
Vol: 38 Issue: 17 Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Every morning, we commiserate together about the chaotic state of affairs on our Big Blue Marble, the endless propaganda masquerading as news, the lies and deceptions in high places of government, the breakdown of society, and all the other attending signs that point to the soon return of Christ.
Today, something a bit more upbeat. Our brother Hal Lindsey turns seventy-five next week. Today’s Omega Letter is about Hal Lindsey.
Hal is my mentor, but first and foremost, he is my best friend. I am grateful to God that He chose me, of all people, to work with Hal. After almost a decade and half, my gratitude compounds daily.
Hal’s first book, “The Late, Great, Planet Earth” was the first major book ever published on Bible prophecy for the last generation, and was the first book to argue that it is the generation who witnessed the rebirth of Israel that will witness the return of Christ.
According to the New York Times, “The Late, Great Planet Earth” was the best-selling non-fiction book of the decade. It was on their best-seller list for the whole of the 1970’s, and has sold at least thirty-five million copies in more than fifty languages.
Thanks to his careful analysis and irrefutable logic, Hal’s book was responsible for more than a million testimonies for Christ, according to the records kept by the publisher.
Among those who were converted to the cause of Christ after reading the Late, Great Planet Earth is your humble correspondent.
A personal testimony: My family was raised in the Catholic Church. One day, my sister read Hal’s book, became a Christian, and then told me she was leaving the Church.
Although I hadn’t darkened the door of a Catholic Church (or any other kind) for anything except weddings or funerals in years, I took it upon myself to ‘deprogram her’ from the ‘cult’ she had so obviously joined. I borrowed her copy of ‘Late, Great’ — determined to prove Hal wrong.
I came to scoff and stayed to pray, as the saying goes, and before I knew it, I was running up the aisle of the local independent Bible church she attended to respond to the altar call. And that was only the beginning.
I have five brothers and sisters that, as a direct consequence of the impact of Hal’s book, eventually took the same walk up the same aisle.
I have six children, all of whom, absent Hal’s book, would most probably have been raised to be the kind of Catholic I was.
My brother has four children and three grandchildren. Between my three sisters, they have twelve children who were raised in Christian homes.
All my grandchildren are being raised in Christian homes, and the eldest among them have already made their decisions for Christ.
That is the testimony how Hal Lindsey’s ministry impacted on just one family.
Hal’s book eventually found its way into at least thirty-five million homes worldwide. Just as it continues to impact my family as new generations come into the world, so it has impacted many millions of others.
Not to mention my ministry — and hundreds of others that began the same way — and all those who found Christ through them.
And their families and their friends. And so on.
Despite the fact ‘Late Great’ sold so many millions of copies, it was Hal’s first book. Nobody expected it to have the impact it had and nobody ever expected it to sell so many copies, so nobody paid much attention to his contract. The publisher made millions.
Hal got a flat fee, one commensurate with what would be offered to an unknown first-time author.
But the Late Great Planet Earth paid dividends far in excess of dollars and cents. Uncounted millions of people have come to know Christ through the faithfulness of this one man.
At seventy-five, Hal continues to work as hard as he did at forty. His schedule is grueling. Hal continues to do almost daily radio interviews with radio stations across the country.
Hal has written some twenty-three other books since ‘Late Great’. He still travels to prophecy conferences and churches around the country to preach his message that Jesus is coming soon.
Once a week, he makes the murderous trip from California’s Inland Empire into Anaheim to record his weekly television program, “The International Intelligence Briefing.” And when he is not doing all of that, he is working with me, sometimes eight to ten hours at a stretch.
Unlike many Christian best-selling authors, Hal is not a rich man. What he didn’t give away to other struggling ministries (some of which are today major ministries with huge followings) was misappropriated or simply stolen by unscrupulous employees who took advantage of Hal’s trust over the years.
At an age when most men have long since retired, Hal Lindsey continues to work, mostly because he wants to, but at least in part, because he HAS to.
(Hal says it is God’s way of making sure he doesn’t get lazy.)
Tomorrow, Gayle and I will be flying out to California to celebrate Hal’s seventy-fifth birthday with Hal, his family, and his friends. We’ll be spending a week out there with him. (I hate flying. Please pray the Lord will grant us journey mercies.)
We have to leave very early in the morning, so I won’t be publishing the regular OL tomorrow.
But while we are there, I will be filing ‘dispatches from the field’ so to speak, so that you can share a little of the warmth of the occasion with us, together with some pictures we’ll post in the member’s forum.
I’ll even try and get Hal to pay a visit to our seldom-used chat room and give you a chance to send your birthday greetings to him in person.
And give those of you, like me, who owe your eternity to his ministry, a chance to say ‘thank you’ for his fifty years of service to the King.