By Hal Lindsey
The Hal Lindsey Report
You would think after a half-century of studying Bible prophecy, teaching it, writing about it, and producing a weekly television program on the subject for the last 15 years, nothing would surprise me. Not so. I am continually amazed by how precisely the predictions of the ancient prophets are unfolding in the news.
How's this for prophetic precision? Last week, Iran's Fars news service reported that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad threatened to unleash a missile attack on Tel Aviv if NATO or Turkey dared interfere in Syria's affairs.
This wasn't an off-the-cuff, rash remark made in a fit of anger. He's issued this threat before. On August 9th, Assad told the Turkish Foreign Minister that "it would take only six hours for Syria to devastate Tel Aviv and ignite the Middle East."
Now, as ominous as that sounds, it's not the part of the story that raises the red flag for prophecy watchers. Middle Eastern hotheads have been threatening to wipe out Israel for decades.
Here's the critical part. Debkafile.com reports that after the first threat, Israel sent Syria a warning. In part, the message said, "If a single missile explodes in Tel Aviv, Damascus will be the first to pay the price.."
That raises the goosebumps, doesn't it?
This is the exact scenario foretold by the prophet Isaiah thousands of years ago. He said that a showdown would take place between Syria and Israel, like two gunfighters facing off in the dusty street of an old western town, complete with the townspeople clearing out to hide in the saloon and the stores. According to Isaiah, the rest of the world "will flee far away, and be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind, or like the whirling dust before a gale."
Then Syria will draw, but before it can clear leather, Israel will strike and Damascus will cease to exist. Here's how Isaiah described it: "And at evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more."
Isaiah predicted that Damascus, the oldest continually inhabited city in the world - which has never been destroyed - will disappear in one night. Before today, that would not have been even technically possible. With nuclear weapons, it won't take an evening.
And now the threat has been publicly made and the counter-threat has been delivered. I'm not saying when this will happen, but once an embattled dictator publicly suggests the possibility, I believe the chances of someone choosing that option increase considerably. And the possibility has to be considered that one of Syria's allies (Iran? Hezbollah? Hamas?) may actually be the one to pull the trigger.
Need I say it again? Get ready! Christ's coming cannot be far away.
Were you a Tea Partier? I know that many of you were and still are. If you recall, for several weeks, I drank tea on the set of "The Hal Lindsey Report" in honor of the Tea Party's efforts.
Well, according to the Left, there's a new movement in town that they're describing at the 'tea party of the Progressives.' I think that description of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests is stretching it a bit and on this week's show I'll tell you why.
I suppose there are similarities: they are protests and the protesters are people. I guess that about does it. To paraphrase former vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, "I knew the Tea Party and you're no Tea Party!"
Another thing that continually amazes me is how you never know what bit of news is going to capture the spotlight at any given moment. With, among other things, the dismal American economy, the imminent collapse of the eurozone, the baseball playoffs, the undoing of Attorney General Eric Holder, and myriad other hot news stories being ignored by the Mainstream Media, who would have thought that a comment made by a Southern Baptist pastor would grab the spotlight.
At last week's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of The First Baptist Church of Dallas, introduced Texas governor Rick Perry. In his remarks, Dr. Jeffress noted that Governor Perry was a born-again evangelical Christian. He called him a "genuine follower of Jesus Christ."
Though he named neither of them, the press considered the remark an obvious reference to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., both Mormons. When questioned about it later, Dr. Jeffress told reporters that the Mormon Church is a "cult" and that Romney is "not a Christian."
The pastor later clarified his remarks by explaining that, theologically speaking, Mormonism is not Christianity. Mainstream Christianity has long considered the Mormon church to be a "theological cult," as opposed to a sociological cult.
I suppose you can guess that Governor Romney considered the remark a personal attack and condemned it as "poisonous language."
Governor Perry is caught in a tough spot. I was disappointed that he later tried to distance himself from Dr. Jeffress' comment and, to a degree, repudiated the idea that Mormonism is a cult. But I was pleased that, when later pressed to go further, Governor Perry refused to equate Mormonism with Christianity.
On this week's program, I'll explain why, no matter what you call Mormonism, it is not Christian. I'll explain why mainstream Christianity has always regarded it as a "cult." I'll also tell you why this incident represents a dangerous new development regarding our rights as Christians and American citizens.
I believe that it is NOT hate speech or intolerance to declare what Jesus Christ Himself declared. It is NOT bigotry to say that a religion that denies the most basic of all Christian doctrines is not Christian. Refusing to change one's own basic beliefs in order to be "politically correct" is not bigotry, either. But this is nothing less than what is being demanded of us now. And daily we see the Left, the media, and anti-Christian forces very effectively using charges of 'hate speech', intolerance, and bigotry to silence Christian voices.
And it will not get better or easier. So my advice is to begin now to prepare for that day. Search your heart to see what you really believe and begin to define what you're willing to lose your friends, your freedom, and maybe your life for.
That day is coming and probably sooner than we think.
[Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, Inspiration, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com. Check your local listings.]
United Nations Warns of ‘Full-Blown Civil War’ Risk in Syria - Bloomberg
Israel sees Hamas strengthening its military with release of insurgents - World Tribune
Mormonism, Democracy, and the Urgent Need for Evangelical Thinking - BPB (Albert Mohler)
The next black president - WND (Joseph Farah)
U.N. Human Rights Official Urges World to Take Action After Death Toll in Syria Rises to 3,000 - FOX News