Is there a battle going on for the heart of America? Find out with Dr. Ed Hindson and Dr. David Reagan at the Defending the Faith Conference shown on television’s Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on October 24, 2010.
The King is Coming with Dr. Ed Hindson
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Eternity: Heaven or Hell? Book by Dr. David R. Reagan
Dr. Reagan: We are currently engaged in the greatest war in our nation’s history. It is not the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan. It is not the worldwide war against Islamic fundamentalism. It is an internal, cultural, and spiritual war over the future values of our nation, and the fate of our nation hangs in the battle. Stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Over the past six weeks we have been sharing with you some of the presentations that were made at our 2010 Bible conference, whose theme was, Defending the Faith. We are going to continue this week by showing you excerpts from the presentation which was made by Dr. Ed Hindson. Ed is one of the foremost Bible prophecy scholars in America today. He has written more that 20 books that deal with Bible prophecy. And I also consider him to be one of the most eloquent speakers in the field of Bible prophecy, and certainly one of the most passionate. Ed is the host of the nationally televised program, The King is Coming. And he serves as a professor of Old Testament studies and Eschatology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. But don’t let those academic credentials scare you! He is a very down-to-earth, Spirit-filled, friendly, gifted communicator who will bless your socks off! Ed was the featured speaker at our 30th anniversary banquet which was held at the end of our 2010 conference. His topic was, The Battle for the Heart of America. Here now is Dr. Ed Hindson.
Dr. Hindson: It is an honor to be here with you tonight. I want to thank all of you that prayed for us a couple of years ago when I went through so many episodes with open heart surgery, and the staph infection that followed. I spend 100 days in ICU and nearly died several times. And the folks at Lamb and Lion prayed often for me as people did all over the world and I am very, very grateful for your prayers. And I am about 95% back to normal again. Of course at my age, I am not sure what normal is anymore. But God has been very, very gracious to us.
As David mentioned I teach at Liberty University in Virginia, teach about 2,000 students a year in Bible survey classes and teach everybody from 18 year olds up to Seminary level. And then fly to California several times a year to do the, King is Coming telecast, but I am here tonight to brag on Dave Reagan. Of all the prophecy speakers that I have heard and I have heard them all. Some are worth hearing once, some you wished you never heard, and some are worth hearing a couple of times. This guy is worth hearing every single time, every time, solid content, great heart. I thought about the name of the ministry Lamb and Lion and I know that was chosen as a representation of the Savior, because Christ is indeed the Lamb of God, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. But those characteristics and qualities also describe this man. He has the spirit of a lamb that loves, and cares, and the heart of a lion who is not afraid to tackle any issue. Not afraid to say what needs to be said, whether people want to hear it or not. And to do that for 30 years and do it consistently, do it as effectively as you have for you and your wife, I think we want to take a moment tonight, all of us to say, “Thank you! God bless you. And we are praying for another 30 years.”
I am going to talk to you tonight about the battle for the heart. Several years ago Tim LaHaye and I co-wrote a book, called The Seduction of the Heart that deals with what I am going to talk about tonight. And then the publisher decided to have a ghost writer, write a little novelette to sort of open the book. A story of a counselor who is trying to help people but she is not a believer so she can’t really help them. And what happens in her life, sort of sets up then the content of the book that really deals with the major spiritual battles that we are dealing with in the world today. And after the book was published and was out for a number of years went out of print, I picked it up one day and I flipped to the back page and just out of curiosity I thought “Who is that lady ghost writer that wrote that chapter in here?” And it says in the back of this book, “Our grateful acknowledgement to Karen Kingsbury, for her assistance.” Before she became a bestselling author herself, she was ghost writing for other people and so if you get this book it is, LaHaye, Hindson, Kingsbury. I mean you’ve got it all, prophecy, the spirit filled life, and romance all in one volume. And we brought it back in print; I just have a few of them here.
We are facing some of the greatest challenges the Christian world has ever faced in its nearly 2,000 years of history. You have heard wonderful men of God in this conference defend the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, that are vital, not only to understanding what Christianity is all about, but vital to making a difference in the hearts and lives of people so that they in turn can make a difference in the world in which we live. The transformation of the heart is the essential element of what really the Bible ultimately is all about. Now we’ve talked about the challenges to the mind and tonight I want to talk to you about the challenges to the heart. And I want to remind you that Biblical Christianity is at its core a religion of the heart. Think of Deuteronomy 6 of the great Schema, the great statement of faith, “Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil” hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one, love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. That is the essential ingredient of the understanding of Old Testament religion, it is not just a religion of rituals and routines of ceremonies and sacrifices, but Old Testament religion was to be a religion of the heart. When Jesus was asked, “What is the most important commandment in the Bible?” He quotes that passage from Deuteronomy 6, “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and soul, and mind.” And yet we are in a time when America is losing its heart, losing its soul, and unfortunately in many cases losing its mind. We are in a down cycle and it is obvious to almost everybody. The economy is unstable. Our global relations are strained. Our national security is compromised. Public education is ineffective. Marriage is on the rocks. Natural disasters are draining our resources. And the Judeo Christian values of our society are quickly being eroded away.
Now I want to begin tonight with the bad news, before I get to the good news. When I was in the hospital people would come see me. Now the first month I was oblivious, I had a staph infection, I didn’t know who was there and I didn’t care. Everybody else was worried I was going to die. And I was just in la-la land, I didn’t know. I was hooked up with wires, and tubes, and what all. And I went in on February 25th and about April I woke up, and I thought it is April? Man I’ve been here a long time I need to get out of here. And I didn’t get out until June the 3rd of that year, but here is what I learned in the hospital. The doctors like to come in and say, “Well, we have good news and we have bad news.” You’ve been there. You’ve heard the old story about the doctor that came in to see the guy and said, “I’ve got good news and bad news.” And the patient said, “Well, tell me the good news first.” And the doctor said, “You are going to be dead in 24 hours.” And the patient said, “That’s the good news? What is the bad new?” And the doctor said, “I was supposed to tell you yesterday.” Yeah. So I decided, give me the bad news first, then give me the good news, give me something to hope for. So I want to begin with the bad news. The bad news is we are involved in a battle for the heart, and soul of this nation. We are involved in a crisis like we have never seen before in this country. Oh, we have had wars and conflicts and difficulties, but we have never had an intellectual spiritual heart-felt war like we are having today. And I would suggest to you that it’s being fought on at least five fronts.
First of all you have the problem of secularism in our society. Secularism is the attitude and belief that ultimately there is no God. That God really is irrelevant to life, that a divine being does not exist. And in an element of secularism as it grows and develops within society it erodes the heart and soul of a society, because a society without God is ultimately a society without hope, without meaning and without purpose.
Secularism ultimately then leads to relativism; if there is no God there is no truth. The whole truth is looked upon as relative to its own context, relative to your own experience. Whatever is true for you is true and meaningful in your own context but it does not necessarily apply to anyone else. If there is no God there is no Heaven, there is no Hell, there is no eternal life to experience. If relativism is correct then there are no absolute truths of any kind on which to pin your life.
And when relativism ultimately has its sway in society it leads to selfism; of that me, myself, and I, am all that matters. I am the measure of life, what matters is only what matters to me and we have moved into an era of selfishness and self-centeredness almost beyond anything the world has ever known. The evidence of that is seen in our reality television programs. You watch the young people in those programs, they are selfish, they are meaningless, they are empty, and they are devoid of effective relationships with anybody beyond themselves. We have moved into a time, I believe that the apostle Paul predicted in his letter to Timothy when he said in Second Timothy 3, “But mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents,” I don’t know how that got in there, “ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, but treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power there of, from such turn away.”
We are in that generation that Paul saw through the inspiration of the spirit as he looked down through the corridor of time, down through the halls of history into the distant future and said, “In the last days there will come a generation so self-centered, so self absorbed, so in love with itself that they are incapable of loving anybody else.” Selfism is the end result of the cultural chaos and the moral disintegration that are the inevitable outcomes of chooses that are self-centered and of a view of life without God. Secularism there is no God. Relativism says there is no truth. Selfism says, “I am all that matters.” And selfism inevitably leads to materialism, the attitude the more that I have then ultimately the happier I will be. Won’t I? That if I have more things and more stuff then ultimately I can make myself happy. Now material things are part of the reality of life. But the problem with materialism is that when it becomes the obsession, the driving focus of ones life, your stuff won’t love you back. Your stuff won’t give you meaning and purpose to life. And the older you get in life, you begin to realize all this stuff that I have accumulated is not the sum and substance of what my life is really all about. In fact as Solomon said in many ways it becomes a great inconvenience in life. And yet people are obsessed with the desire of consumerism of materialism, of possessions because they’ve bought the lie that all of these things will eventually make me happy. That is why Jesus said, you can not love God, and love materialism.
And when materialism is not enough it leads then to mysticism. And I would suggest to you tonight that is where our post-modern culture is today. Mysticism asks the question, “If God is not there, is anybody out there? Is anything out there?” I remember sitting in a series of lectures 40 years ago. Francis Schaeffer the great Christian Theologian came to the college where I was studying and he gave a series of lectures. This is before he wrote any of his books, before he was famous. And I remember looking at this strange little man from Switzerland standing there in knickers and a goatee in the early 60’s in a Bible college and gave a lecture in which he said, “When modern man comes to the end of his rationalism, he will come to the end of his rationality.” In other words, when people have finally rationalized God out of their personal existence, they will go crazy. They will throw rationality out of the window as well. And he began to suggest that in the future we could expect a pseudo scientific return to the occult.
He began to describe things like mystics, a revival of Hinduism, and Buddhism, reincarnation, Satanism, shamanism, mediums, palm readers, tarot cards, and psychics. And I remember sitting there as a young student 40 years ago, and saying to myself, “Now come on Schaeffer, I mean it’s bad, but it’s not that bad. Their stupid, but they aren’t that stupid. They’re not just going to throw God out the window and then grab the Devil as a replacement. They’re not going to believe that there are voices coming in from other planets from outer space giving them meaning and direction and purpose in life. They’re not going to lose their minds.”
I would like to report to you 40 years later, that people are that stupid, and that he was right. He saw it coming because it had already happened in Europe where he was living. And he saw it coming because he understood the significance of basic biblical prophecies in that direction. And we are now living the reality of what he suggested 40 years ago would become a regular part of American life. He suggested in those lectures that eventually Christianity would be nothing more than vapor and fumes of the past. That all that would be left were a few outward symbols like a cross, or maybe the Ten Commandments. A few things that people would hold onto but they would no longer build their lives, make their decisions, and form their values based on Christian principles, they would become biblically illiterate. They would become devoid of theological truth, and ultimately all of the Judeo Christian system of values on which our culture had been built would eventually be lost.
I believe that all of that has become a reality and it has lead to what many have called the death of the soul. That today’s generation is in many ways, a lost generation. Larry Crabb the Christian counselor put it this way, he said, “We can not talk about loving God, until we come to grips with our raging passion for ourselves.” It is a challenge for every one of us. Is my life really all about me? Or is it really all about Him? Is it really all about my church serving my needs and my desires, or is it all about me serving the Lord through the ministry of that church? So many people today try to treat their church like a full-service bake, what do you have for me? Do you have ministries designed for my needs, etc? With no concern about what is really preached and taught in that environment.
A secular counselor named Thomas Moore wrote a book called, The Care of the Soul in which he said, “The greatest malady of our times implicated in all of our troubles individually and collectively is the loss of the soul. The impact of the media has literally robbed our younger generation of the ability to make a distinction between that which is real, and that which is unreal. In today’s movies that are the most successful it is the recreation of virtual imagery that drives those films and causes people to say, “Wow, what an exciting experience that was.” The problem is it is not a real experience. And they do not understand the difference between reality and unreality. We are also challenged by the basic culturally realities of the day and age in which we live. Digital technology, computers, cell phones, the Internet, digital cameras, video recorders, we are using all these things tonight. But all of these things have a tendency to make us focus on that which is not real.
I watch students even on our own campus walking across the campus, 11,800 students almost everyone of them on a cell phone, half of them texting to somebody. But while they are talking on a cell phone to somebody in Phoenix, they walk right past a real person and say nothing to them. There is no communication going on of any kind. The communication is electronically driven; it is driven by cyberspace and not by reality.
As a result we are going through a values transition in our culture today in which accountability has given away to autonomy. I want to observe my rights, and the way I think things ought to be. If I called a student down for misbehaving 30 years ago in a lecture the student would apologize. Today if I call a student down for misbehaving they will get angry, they will get upset. If I do it too often, the class will congregate to the student and defend the student, “How could you do such a terrible thing? You actually tried to hold him accountable for his behavior.” Yeah, he was wrecking the whole deal, no kidding; somebody needed to do something at that point. But we have changed the way we look at life today.
And for the older generation, our generation it is difficult for us to understand this, it is difficult for us to even connect with it. It is difficult for us to even understand how the younger generation thinks. Responsibility has given way to rights. Students are quick to assert their own individual and personal rights. I have a right to pass this class. I have a right to get a good grade. I have a right for you to never embarrass me in anyway at all, never call me to accountability of any kind. And therefore discernment has given way to tolerance. In a culture in which there are no absolute values, the only value that is left is tolerance. You have to tolerate every view and every idea, and every concept because when there are no ultimate truths and ultimate values then every value is equal to every other value.
And faith has given way to skepticism. We are facing a younger generation that desperately needs our love, our help, our encouragement, our insight, our influence, but they are a very skeptical generation. They don’t believe what they hear on television, they don’t believe what they hear on the radio. They don’t even necessary believe what they hear in church. They are not convinced just because somebody who appears to be in a position of authority makes a statement, that that statement is to be accepted with credibility at all. As a result Christians are more challenged then ever before to give answers for your faith. Why you really believe what you believe. Why you are willing to build your entire life upon that. And why you are willing to commit yourself with confidence for both time and eternity. I believe we can make a difference but we are facing tremendous challenges, the likes of which the modern world has never known before. We are experiencing as a result the darkness of our times. And in the darkness of these times, there is a spiritual vacuum today that has spread across America like a plague. Now in the environment we’re in tonight you don’t sense that. But you step outside this room into the rest of the culture and that spiritual vacuum is growing greater all the time.
One of the things that Schaeffer mentioned years ago, and one of the things I think that Jesus himself emphasizes in one of His parable is, that when you push God out of your world, you are never left with a neutral vacuum. Satan will rush into the vacuum, attempt to fill the vacuum and turn truth into a lie. It’s not true that you can simply have a non-religious culture and that it is fair for everybody. No, once you have a totally non-religious culture you will have an irreligious culture. You will have an anti-religious culture. And today atheism is more aggressive, it is more out spoken than it has ever been before. People dare to attack the credibility of Christ. The reality is as we heard today; of the virgin birth, and the resurrection and the deity of Christ, these things are no longer presented as well, they might be a problem that needs to be discussed. They are laughed at and dismissed as unreasonable. And yet at the same time those very same people will turn right around and say, well any other religious expression is a reasonable expression. You can talk about any religion on the planet and people are like okay, yeah, I understand, yeah that is good, that is nice, fine. But if you talk about Jesus and the Bible all of a sudden there is a reaction. Why? Because Satan only opposes the truth, not the lie, and the opposition comes immediately because He knows this is the truth that will take people out of darkness into light.
Dr. Reagan:You have been watching excerpts from a presentation by Dr. Ed Hindson about the battle for the heart of America. As I said at the beginning of the program this war is the greatest one in our history, because the very fate of our nation depends on its outcome. We will either return to the Judeo-Christian principles this nation was founded upon, and which made this nation great. Or we will destroy ourselves by a descent into paganism. I wish we had time to show you the rest of Dr. Hindson’s presentation, because it gets to the good news about our future. And because the news is so good, we will continue with Dr. Hindson’s presentation next week. In that presentation Dr. Hindson will point out that there are 5 truths that we should keep in mind that give us hope.
As we bring this program to a close, I would like to announce that my newest book has just been published. The title is, Eternity, the subtitle is a question, Heaven or Hell? The book contains seven chapters: What happens when you die? What about Resurrection and Judgment? What will Heaven be like? Is Hell for real? Are there many roads to God? How can we be certain of life after death? Are you living with an eternal perspective? In the process, I try to provide answers to many of the most common questions that people ask about life and death.
And now as we conclude, I want to invite you to be back with us again next week when we will present the conclusion of Ed Hindson’s great presentation about the Battle for the Heart of our Nation. Until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”
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